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The Department of Environmental Economics and Management

The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

PO Box 12, Rehovot 76100
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The evolution of trust in Airbnb: A case of home rental


Ert, E. ; Fleischer, A. The evolution of trust in Airbnb: A case of home rental. Annals of Tourism Research 2019, 75, 279 - 287.

Date Published:



Airbnb, a leader of P2P accommodation markets, has acknowledged that “trust is what makes Airbnb work” and has implemented several trust indicators over the years: reputation system, impression formation, and certification. We evaluate the changes in these indicators over time: 1. the modification of the reputation system, 2. the removal of hosts’ photos from the main search screen, and 3. the introduction of the Superhost program. We find that the change of the rating system was associated with a small, yet significant, reduction in ratings, that the removal of the hosts’ photos might have eliminated the price premium of trustworthy images, and that Superhost certification involves a price premium, but does not seem to compensate for established reputation. This article also launches the Annals of Tourism Research Curated Collection on Peer-to-peer accommodation networks, a special selection of research in this field.

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Last updated on 07/11/2019