Prosocial Behaviors and Economic Performance: Evidence from an Online Mental Healthcare Platform

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 Last revised: 10 Aug 2020

See all articles by Zhijun Yan

Zhijun Yan

Beijing Institute of Technology

Lini Kuang

Beijing Institute of Technology

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Date Written: November 25, 2019

Abstract

With the growth of online mental healthcare platforms, health professionals have been providing online consultation services in their spare time. However, little is known about the behaviors of health professionals on these platforms and their impact on achieving healthcare professionals’ online career success. In this research, we study how the prosocial behaviors of mental healthcare service providers influence their social and economic returns. Based on signaling and commitment theory, this study uses a panel dataset from a Chinese online mental healthcare platform to examine how counselors’ prosocial behaviors influence their relationship returns and reputation returns, furthermore, how the relationship and reputation return transform to economic returns. Our findings show that participating in prosocial activities in the previous week is positively associated with counselors’ relationship and reputation returns in the current week. We further find that the relationship returns accumulated in the past week is positively associated with counselors’ economic returns in the current week. Contrary to previous literature posited that reputation level positively indicates economic returns, our results suggest that the reputation return accumulated in the past week does not positively predict the economic returns in the current week.

Keywords: prosocial behaviors, relationship return, reputation return, economic return, online mental healthcare platform

Suggested Citation

Yan, Zhijun and Kuang, Lini and Qiu, Liangfei, Prosocial Behaviors and Economic Performance: Evidence from an Online Mental Healthcare Platform (November 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3493138

Zhijun Yan

Beijing Institute of Technology ( email )

5 South Zhongguancun street
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Researc
Beijing, Haidian District 100081
China

Lini Kuang

Beijing Institute of Technology ( email )

5 South Zhongguancun street
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Researc
Beijing, Haidian District 100081
China

Liangfei Qiu (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/qiuliangfei/

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