In the US, where individualism is intensely valued, there may be more willingness to give cash to unknown people.
In light of Dellarocas's research, however, it's also possible to argue that Indians are just more honest than Americans in their feedback. Perhaps if people in the US didn't silence their criticisms, eBay US would look more like eBay India. Most reputations tails on eBay US show 99 percent good feedback, which seems far too cheery to be realistic. And possibly these unrealistic reputation tails are leading to unwise levels of trust in US consumers. EBay India may be less nicey-nice, but it sounds like its consumers are more willing to give balanced feedback. Frankly, I'd rather live in a world of slightly less trust than one where critics silence themselves. *
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd who has never bought anything on eBay but has purchased countless books from strangers on alibris.com.
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