Safety Reviews on AirBnB: An Information Tale

Stuart School of Business research presentation by Yidan Sun (Management Science Ph.D. student), Professor of Economics Liad Wagman, and colleagues





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Safety Reviews on AirBnB: An Information Tale

  • Yidan Sun, Stuart Management Science Ph.D. student
  • Professor of Economics Liad Wagman
  • Ginger Zhe Jin, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Aron Culotta, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Tulane University


Many online platforms facilitate and publish user reviews in order to build trust between anonymous buyers and sellers. At the same time, platforms can also monitor, filter, and remove certain user reviews, even if they reflect the true experiences of buyers. Using Airbnb and official crime data in five major U.S. cities, we show that a recent Airbnb policy that discourages reviews about the safety of a listing’s vicinity, if fully implemented, would hurt guests but increase the revenues of listings with such vicinity safety reviews. Because vicinity safety reviews are more closely correlated with official crime statistics in low-income and minority neighborhoods, our findings suggest that suppressing or highlighting vicinity safety reviews would have different effects on different neighborhoods.


All Illinois Tech faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend.

The Friday Research Presentations series showcases ongoing academic research projects conducted by Stuart School of Business faculty and students, as well as guest presentations by Illinois Tech colleagues, business professionals, and faculty from other leading business schools.

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