Social Interaction and Performance in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from Uber

Sharique Hasan, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business
The ``sharing'' or ``platform'' economy is rising in importance as more individuals work on technology-enabled platforms. Much of the existing research on these technologies examines the economic efficiency of the transactions they broker. However, this research has overlooked the ``social'' nature of the interactions they mediate. In this article, we use transactional data from a cohort of UberX drivers and examine how the drivers’ performance varies with the quality of the passengers they serve. We test three theories that make competing predictions about this relationship. Contrary to research in traditional organizational settings, we find evidence that drivers assigned to highly rated passengers subsequently decrease how much they drive by one hour and how much they earn. Our findings suggest that, at the margin, UBER drivers are willing to trade money for positive interactions with passengers.
January, 22 2018 | 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm | Gross Hall 270

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