PRICE DETERMINANTS ON AIRBNB: HOW REPUTATION PAYS OFF IN THE SHARING ECONOMYWritten by TIMM TEUBNER, FLORIAN HAWLITSCHEK, DAVID DANN
ABSTRACT. Trust is a crucial prerequisite for peer-to-peer rental and sharing. Therefore, platform operators such as Airbnb have implemented a plethora of trust-building mechanisms, user interface (UI) artefacts, and reputation systems. While the role of reputation systems for establishing trust is well-understood, little is known about how reputation actually translates into tangible economic value, either by attracting more demand or by enabling the enforcement of higher prices. In this paper, we consider the economic value of trust-building artefacts on Airbnb by quantifying price effects of common reputation features from a signaling theory perspective. Our analysis is based on hedonic price modeling and a large-scale dataset from 86 German cities that provides insights in the price effects of a diverse set of variables (average rating score, number of ratings, Superhost status, ID verification, photos, and duration of membership). Employing hedonic price regression modeling, we find that index signals such as the hosts’ rating scores and duration of membership are associated with economic value. Moreover, also conventional signals such as accommodation photographs consistently translate into price premiums. We discuss implications for platform operators, users, and the general design of Information Systems (IS) artefacts intended to facilitate peer-to-peer platform interactions.
JEL codes: L14; L86
Keywords: Airbnb; trust; reputation; sharing economy; peer-to-peer platforms; signaling theory
How to cite: Teubner, Timm, Florian Hawlitschek, and David Dann (2017), “Price Determinants on Airbnb: How Reputation Pays Off in the Sharing Economy,” Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics 5(4): 53–80.
Received 5 January 2017 • Received in revised form 5 April 2017
Accepted 6 April 2017 • Available online 27 April 2017