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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOnline crowdfunding, an emerging business model, has been thriving for the last decade. It enables small firms and individuals to conduct financial transactions that would previously been impossible. Along with unprecedented opportunities, two fundamental issues still hinder crowdfunding ability to fulfill its potentials: the information asymmetry and the understanding of the impact of crowdfunding. Both are actually exacerbated by the "virtual" nature of these marketplaces. The success of this new market therefore critically depends on both improving existing mechanisms or designing new ones to mitigate the issue of unobservable fundraiser quality, which can lead to adverse selection and market collapse; and better understanding the impact of crowdfunding, and particularly its offline impact, which will allow the effective allocation of scarce resources. My dissertation includes three essays around these topics, using data from debt-, reward- and donation-based crowdfunding contexts, respectively. My first two essays focus on two popular but understudied components in crowdfunding campaigns, texts and videos, and aim at predicting fundraiser quality by quantifying texts and videos. In particular, the first essay focuses on developing scalable approaches to extracting linguistic features from texts provided by borrowers when they request funds; and on using those features to explain and predict the repayment probability of the problematic loans. The second essay focuses on videos in reward crowdfunding, and preliminary results show excellent predictive performance and strong associations between multi-dimensional video information and crowdfunding campaign success and quality. The last essay investigates the impact of educational crowdfunding on school performance, using data from a crowdfunding platform for educational purposes. The results show that educational crowdfunding plays a role far beyond simply a financial source. Overall, my dissertation identifies the non-financial impact of crowdfunding as well as potential opportunities for efficiency improvement in the crowdfunding market, which have thus far not been documented in the literature.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Management Information Systems