Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Karl Reiner Lang

Committee Members

Radhika Jain

Qiang Gao

Shu Yang

Subject Categories

Behavioral Economics | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | E-Commerce | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


Social network structure, social information, social influence, contribution behavior, crowdfunding


The long-term potentiality of online communities and activities depends critically on contribution behaviors of online individuals. In this dissertation, this study deepen and extend our understanding of contribution behavior by applying contributions to crowdfunding platforms, whereas social networks, social information, and social influence affect people’s contribution decisions, which in turn influences their contribution performances. Specifically, this study looked into how contribution behavior at crowdfunding platforms is shaped at a fundamental level of social interactions initiated by social and information technologies on contribution performance, using online and natural experiments as study methodologies.

Examining the effects brought by online social interactions on crowdfunding platform contributions provides insights into a better understanding of contributors’ behavior under the online social media-based finance settings. Drawing on the theory from social networks, economics, and sociology, this research examines these effects on contribution outcomes via a series of online experiments and a field study. The results of the 5 studies of this dissertation proposal show that social networks do influence contribution outcomes at crowdfunding platforms. While bridging social networks are more likely to engender higher total production of outcomes in terms of group total contributions in crowdfunding, bonding networks are more likely to stimulate group cooperation (study 1-4) and higher individual contribution (lending) amount (study 5). The findings of this study highlight the implications for both researchers, platforms managers, and platform policy makers who wish to improve contribution performance at crowdfunding platforms.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Saturday, September 30, 2023

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