Quality of work in online labor markets: an empirical study in paid crowdsourcing environments.

PhD Thesis
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Year of Completion: 

The overall purpose of our research, conducted at the Department of Economics of the University of Patras, is to investigate various economic aspects of this new form of work currently becoming all the more important. The emphasis is in particular on the issue of quality in such labor markets. For that reason, as a first step, our aim is to review and analyze existing websites providing crowdsourcing services in an attempt to establish a framework that will allow systematic discussion, comparison and assessment of their overall performance.


Moreover, despite the increased popularity of the crowdsourcing online activity, little is also known on the quality of output and the associated determinants of a task-specific outcome. In this thesis, we investigate also the impact of cognitive and non-cognitive skills on the quality of a task-specific outcome by conducting an experiment on a popular crowdsourcing platform. Using linear regression models and controlling for a wide set of individual characteristics and country-specific indicators, we found that the performance of workers depends on cognitive skills, personality traits and work effort. Overall, we find that micro-workers with higher levels of neuroticism perform worse, a finding that is in line with relevant studies in traditional labor markets. These results are expected to gain insights on the effective role of worker attributes in online labor markets.