Economic Downturn and Volunteering:Do Economic Crises Affect Content Generation on Wikipedia

Kummer, Michael, Slivko, Olga and Zhang, Michael (Xiaoquan) (2019) Economic Downturn and Volunteering:Do Economic Crises Affect Content Generation on Wikipedia. Information Systems Research. ISSN 1047-7047 (In Press)

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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 economic downturn.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2020 23:47
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 23:47
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76251
DOI:

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