Why are ratings so high in the sharing economy? Evidence based on guest perspectives (article published)

The article “Why are ratings so high in the sharing economy? Evidence based on guest perspectives” has just been published in Current Issues in Tourism (Q1 of JCR). This is the abstract:

One issue that has been identified in the literature is the relatively high average of guest client ratings that properties receive on sharing accommodation platforms. High ratings seem to be the norm in most online platforms that include consumer reviews, but the case of Airbnb seems more extreme than the others. Several reasons have been proposed to explain this apparently positively-biased eWOM. However, none of these proposals have taken into account the guests’ perspective on the matter. In this study, we develop a two-step methodology to research and verify the reasons for this issue. First, with a sample of 391 Airbnb guests, we analyse the specific causes that explain these high ratings. Second, we carry out in-depth interviews with 20 additional guests who did not rate or who recognized that they were not fully accurate in their reviews. Not wanting to harm a reputed host that performed well in stays that did not involve serious problems was the main reason behind these behaviours. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

We would like to thank all of those who participated, answering the questionnaire or as subjects of the in-depth interviews.

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