Economic downturn and volunteering: do economic crises affect content generation on Wikipedia?


Kummer, Michael E. ; Slivko, Olga ; Zhang, Xiaoquan (Michael)


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/40159
Additional URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2710625
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-401591
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2015
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 15-078
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > Zentrum für Europ. Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW)
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D29 , D80 , H41 , J60 , L17,
Keywords (English): Online platform , Wikipedia , public goods , unemployment , user generated content
Abstract: In this paper, we address the impact of surging unemployment on online public good provision. Specifically, we ask how drastically increased unemployment affects voluntary contributions of content to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. We put together a monthly country-level data set, which combines country specific economic outcomes with data on contributions to the online encyclopedia. As a source of exogenous variation in the economic state we use the fact that European countries were affected by the financial crisis in the US in September 2008 with different intensity. For European countries, we find that the economic downturn is associated with more viewership, which channels higher participation of volunteers in Wikipedia expressed in editing activity and content growth. We provide evidence for increased information search online or online learning as a potential channel of the change in public goods provision, which is a potentially important side effect of the economic downturn.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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