Personal or product reputation? Optimizing revenues in the sharing economy

Graziano Abrate, Giampaolo Viglia

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    The emergence of peer-to-peer platforms, known as the sharing economy, has empowered people to market their own products and services. However, there are information asymmetries that make it difficult to evaluate the reputation of the seller a priori. This article examines how sellers have to enhance their personal reputation to optimize revenues. The study proposes a revenue model where, given a frontier that depends on the shared assets, the maximization of revenues depends on reputational factors of the person and of the product. An empirical validation of the framework has been conducted in the context of Airbnb, a popular sharing economy travel platform. The sample comprises 981 establishments across five European cities. The findings suggest the crucial importance of personal reputation along with some distinctive reputational attributes of the product itself. These results emphasize the role of trust and personal branding strategies in peer-to-peer platforms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0
    Pages (from-to)136-148
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Travel Research
    Issue number1
    Early online date28 Nov 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • Airbnb
    • personal reputation
    • revenue optimization
    • resource-based view
    • stochastic frontier
    • sharing economy


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