Externalities in Knowledge Production: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

40 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2019

See all articles by Marit Hinnosaar

Marit Hinnosaar

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto; University of Nottingham

Toomas Hinnosaar

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Michael Kummer

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Olga Slivko

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Information and Communication Technologies Research Group

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Do contributions to online content platforms induce a feedback loop of ever more user-generated content or will they discourage future contributions? To assess this, we use a randomized field experiment which added content to some pages in Wikipedia while leaving similar pages unchanged. We find that adding content has a negligible impact on the subsequent long-run growth of content. Our results have implications for information seeding and incentivizing contributions, implying that additional content does not generate sizable externalities, neither by inspiring nor by discouraging future contributions.

Keywords: knowledge accumulation, user-generated content, Wikipedia

JEL Classification: C93, L17, L86

Suggested Citation

Hinnosaar, Marit and Hinnosaar, Toomas and Kummer, Michael and Slivko, Olga, Externalities in Knowledge Production: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment (2019). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 19-007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3354374

Marit Hinnosaar (Contact Author)

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto ( email )

Piazza Arbarello
8
Torino, Torino 10122
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://marit.hinnosaar.net/

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Toomas Hinnosaar

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Michael Kummer

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Olga Slivko

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research - Information and Communication Technologies Research Group ( email )

D-68034 Mannheim
Germany

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