Payment Induces Rather Than Reduces Free Sharing of Knowledge
ECONOMICS AND DECISION SCIENCES DEPARTMENT
Speaker : Juin Kuan CHONG (NUS Business School)
HEC Campus- Building T - Room T201
Would the existence of a pay channel lure suppliers away from the free channel and jeopardize the survival of the free channel in the online knowledge-sharing economy? The answer is, surprisingly, no. In fact, activities in the free channel increase as the possibility of monetizing knowledge in the pay channel motivates suppliers to provide more answers in the free channel to enhance their reputations. The activities of 0.3 million users on the free channel of a large online Q&A platform in China showed that post-pay-channel launch, each user on average provided about 60% more answers daily, and to questions that were older by 9.5%. Individual-level analysis showed that suppliers who could most productively increase their reputations did behave rationally by providing more answers than before.