To be or not to be anonymous guides discrimination in online reciprocal feedback

Creator/Principal investigator(s):

Emma von Essen - Stockholm University, Department of Economics

Description:

Theoretical and empirical work highlight the importance of trust and reciprocity in economic exchange. Online reputational feedback systems are crucial in generating trust and this is essential for economic success. Discrimination in feedback may, therefore, create inequality in the long run. We expect competition and selection to eradicate price discrimination and we, therefore, focus on discrimination in feedback. In addition, we look at discrimination and anonymity. Anonymity is a common feature online and is sometimes used as a strategy to circumvent discrimination. We construct a field experiment on eBay, where half of the sellers disclose their names in their usernames while the other half do not. eBay, however, automatically communicates the seller’s names to the buyer after the auction has ended. We find discrimination in feedback, but it only occurs when sellers had anonymous usernames, suggesting that anonymity as a fairness strategy might backfire.

Purpose:

Explore discrimination by gender and foreignness in buyer feedback online and how user anonymity can affect this possible dis

... Show more..

Principal organisation:

order data remove data Order data

Responsible department/unit:

Stockholm University

Creator/Principal investigator(s):

Emma von Essen - Stockholm University, Department of Economics

Identifiers:

SND-ID: SND 1061

Description:

Theoretical and empirical work highlight the importance of trust and reciprocity in economic exchange. Online reputational feedback systems are crucial in generating trust and this is essential for economic success. Discrimination in feedback may, therefore, create inequality in the long run. We expect competition and selection to eradicate price discrimination and we, therefore, focus on discrimination in feedback. In addition, we look at discrimination and anonymity. Anonymity is a common feature online and is sometimes used as a strategy to circumvent discrimination. We construct a field experiment on eBay, where half of the sellers disclose their names in their usernames while the other half do not. eBay, however, automatically communicates the seller’s names to the buyer after the auction has ended. We find discrimination in feedback, but it only occurs when sellers had anonymous usernames, suggesting that anonymity as a fairness strategy might backfire.

Purpose:

Explore discrimination by gender and foreignness in buyer feedback online and how user anonymity can affect this possible dis

... Show more..

Language:

English

Swedish

Time period(s) investigated:

2012-04-30 — 2012-08-30

Geographic spread:

Geographic location: Sweden

Unit of analysis:

Population:

Buyers on Swedish eBay

Sampling procedure:

Other

Ethics Review:

Stockholm — Ref. 2011/1328-31

Contact person for questions about the data:

Emma von Essen

Download metadata:

Publications

Sort by name | Sort by year

A matter of transient anonymity: Discrimination by gender and foreignness in online auctions, in von Essen, E. (2013). Understanding unequal outcomes: Studies on gender, social status and foreignness (Doctoral dissertation, Department of Economics, Stockholm University).

If you have published anything based on these data, please notify us with a reference to your publication(s).

Version 1.0:

To be or not to be anonymous guides discrimination in online reciprocal feedback

Suggested citation:

Emma von Essen. Stockholm University (2020). To be or not to be anonymous guides discrimination in online reciprocal feedback. Swedish National Data Service. Version 1.0. https://doi.org/10.5878/0w40-2q34

Creator/Principal investigator(s):

Emma von Essen - Stockholm University, Department of Economics

Description:

We construct a field experiment on eBay, where half of the sellers disclose their names in their usernames while the other half do not. eBay, however, automatically communicates the seller’s names to the buyer after the auction has ended. The seller names signal a combination of gender and foreignness (from a stereotypical Swedish perspective). We manually collected the data.

Data format / data structure:

Numeric

Data collection:

Time period(s) for data collection: 2012-04-30 — 2012-08-30

Data collector:

Source of the data: Communications, Population group

Time period(s) investigated:

2012-04-30 — 2012-08-30

Variables:

40

Published: 2020-02-28