Effect of Auction Design on Bidder Entry: Evidence from An Online Labor Market

Hong, Yili (Kevin)
Shao, Benjamin
Chen, Pei-yu
Liang, Chen
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We propose that auction duration and auction description are two important auction design parameters that could serve as screening mechanisms for quality in online auctions. Using data from an online labor matching platform that connects buyers with IT service vendors, we examine the effects of auction duration and auction descriptions on auction outcomes (i.e., number of bids, bidder quality, bidding price) and project outcomes (i.e., project being contracted and being completed). Our empirical analyses show that, in buyer-determined reverse auctions of online labor matching, auctions with a longer duration and a longer description attract more bids, but they also attract more low quality bidders with less experience and lower completion rate, and hence result in a lower probability of successful contracting and completion of software service projects. Our research provides empirical evidence highlighting the strategic roles of auction design parameters like auction duration and descriptions as a potential screening mechanism for online labor matching platforms.
Crowd-based Platforms, auction design auction duration auction description online labor matching screening
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