Monetary Incentives and Knowledge Spillover: Evidence from a Natural Experiment


讲座时间:2021年12月14日  10:00- 11:30am




We examine how the introduction of monetary incentives by a knowledge-sharing platform affects the nonrewarded knowledge activity on the platform. Our setting is a question-and-answer platform that provides monetary incentives for holding live talks. Using a combination of coarsened exact matching and difference-in-differences estimation techniques, we find that the launch of the paid feature creates a positive spillover effect on the hosts’ free contributions, specifically, 9.4%–40.8% more answers in the short run when compared with nonhosts. The paid feature did not result in any significant change in the quality of answers. We suggest reputation building is one plausible mechanism underlying the spillover. Additional analyses reveal the spillover effect is negative for short-lived hosts in the long run, indicating possible crowding out of free contributions. The positive spillover effect for long-lived hosts lasts longer but is also reduced over time. Our findings suggest that introducing monetary incentives can be a viable business model for knowledge platforms to stimulate user contributions in both the paid and related unpaid activities. Yet platform owners should be cautious about the potential negative spillover after users stop contributing to the paid activity and develop effective strategies to maintain users’ long-term interests in the paid program.


李根是复旦大学管理学院讲师(Assistant Professor),2020年在香港科技大学获得信息系统博士学位。主要研究方向为知识平台,金融科技以及人工智能。论文发表于Management Science, Journal of Management Information Systems国际期刊,并在信息系统领域会议如Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE), INFORMS, Symposium on Statistical Challenges in Electronic Commerce Research (SCECR), China Summer Workshop on Information Management (CSWIM)做过汇报演讲。