Engineering Trust - Reciprocity In The Production Of Reputation Information

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Executive Summary

Reciprocal feedback distorts the production and content of reputation information, hampering trust and trade efficiency. Data from eBay and other sources combined with laboratory data provide a robust picture of how reciprocity can be guided by changes in the way feedback information flows through the system, leading to more accurate reputation information, more trust and more efficient trade. This paper reports on the repair of an Internet market trust mechanism. While all markets require some minimum amount of trust, it is a particular challenge for Internet markets, where trading is typically anonymous, geographically dispersed, and executed sequentially.

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