Exploring the Role of Referral Programs on the Crowdsourcing Platform: A Preliminary Analysis

Yanping Guo, Bingqing Xiong, Eric T.K. Lim, Yongqiang Sun, Chee-Wee Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Crowdsourcing platforms are experiencing exponential growth in recent years. Despite their extraordinary capabilities in expediting resource allocation and engendering innovation, crowdsourcing platforms also suffer from demand deficiency due to a growing number of competitors flooding the market. For this reason, many crowdsourcing platforms have launched referral programs to incentivize existing customers to recruit new members. Although past studies have attested to the effects of referral programs on individual outcomes, there is a dearth of research that has examined the macro impact of such programs. To bridge this knowledge gap, we construct a four-year panel (i.e., two years before and after policy change) and employ interrupted time-series analysis to unravel the effects of referral programs on crowdsourcing platforms’ activeness and profitability. Additionally, we also take a closer look at whether these programs will influence the magnitude and variability of platform-level outcomes. Potential contributions and future works are discussed towards the end.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACIS 2021 Proceedings
EditorsDoug Vogel, Kathy Ning Shen, Pan Shan Ling, M.N. Ravishankar, Xi (Jacky) Zhang
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2021
Article number484
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 25th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. PACIS 2021 - Virtual
Duration: 12 Jul 202114 Jul 2021
Conference number: 25


ConferenceThe 25th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. PACIS 2021
Internet address


  • Crowdsourcing platform
  • Referral program
  • Platform activeness
  • Platform profitability

Cite this