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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2024 Grand Challenge: Business Resilience
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Sep 1, 2023

Do Noisy Customer Reviews Discourage Platform Sellers? Empirical Analysis of an Online Solar Marketplace


Customer reviews are essential to online marketplaces. However, reviews typically vary; ratings of a product or service are rarely the same. In many service marketplaces, including the ones for solar panel installations, supply-side participants are active. That is, a seller must make a proposal to serve each customer. In such marketplaces, it is not clear how (or if) the dispersion in customer reviews affects the seller activity level and number of matches in the marketplace. Our paper examines this by considering both ratings and text reviews. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that empirically studies how the review dispersion affects a seller’s activity level and the number of matches in an online marketplace with active sellers. Distinct from literature, we examine the relationship between the review dispersion and supply-side activities in an online service marketplace.

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