Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorChairperson, Graduate Committee: Mark Andersonen
dc.contributor.authorSears, James Matthewen
dc.description.abstractDespite complete user anonymity, asymmetrical information, and incomplete enforcement mechanisms, the deep web market Silk Road facilitated approximately $200 million in illegal drug sales in 34 months. This study tests how the site's reputation system facilitated successful transactions and how user feedback functioned as the primary signal of seller quality in the absence of formal contract enforcement. Using novel data from the site on marijuana, amphetamine, and meth transactions, listings, and vendors, I find strong evidence that consumers engaged with the site's reputation system and relied on both item and seller-level information. Hedonic regressions provide evidence of a 'bad news' learning environment, estimating a 3 to 11% price discount for negative item reviews. Seller ratings are found to act as an effective proxy for permanent seller characteristics, and named trains act as a primary source of quality (and price) differentiation for marijuana. I find no evidence of price penalties or signal heterogeneity for new sellers. This study is the first to shed light on the value of reputation on the deep web's largest marketplace, yielding new insight into the mechanisms modern markets use to overcome social distance and prevent market failure.en
dc.publisherMontana State University - Bozeman, College of Agricultureen
dc.titleA reputation for the good stuff: user feedback signaling and the deep web market silk roaden
dc.rights.holderCopyright 2016 by James Matthew Searsen, Graduate Committee: Isaac Swensen; Daniel Rees.en Economics & Economics.en
mus.relation.departmentAgricultural Economics & Economics.en_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

MSU uses DSpace software, copyright © 2002-2017  Duraspace. For library collections that are not accessible, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodations and timely access to users with disabilities. For assistance, please submit an accessibility request for library material.