Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 37 Number 2 2020 pp. 510-535

Effect of Crowd Voting on Participation in Crowdsourcing Contests

Chen, Liang, Xu, Pei, and Liu, De


While expert rating is still a dominant approach for selecting winners in contests for creative works, a few crowdsourcing platforms have recently used “crowd voting” for winner selection – that is, let users of the crowdsourcing community publicly vote for contest winners. We investigate how a contest’s reliance on crowd voting for winner selection, defined as the percentage of crowd-voted prizes to the total prize sum (in dollar amounts), affects contest participation. Drawing upon expectancy theory and tournament theory, we develop a theoretical understanding of this relationship. Using a novel dataset of contests employing both crowd voting and expert rating, we find that a contest’s reliance on crowd voting is positively associated with participation. Specifically, every 10% increase in the crowd-voting reliance can boost users’ odds of participation by about 7%. Moreover, crowd voting is more appealing to users whose expertise is not high and whose status in the crowdsourcing community is high.

Key words and phrases: crowdsourcing, crowdsourcing contests, winner-selection mechanisms, crowd voting, expert rating, expectancy theory, tournament theory