• PhD Candidate

  • I'm a Scatcherd Scholar at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where I research the formation of reputation and trust in online economies. Specifically, my work aims at designing smarter and more trustworthy online reputation systems, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom. I'm supervised by Dr Greg Taylor and Dr Nir Vulkan.more

Research Outline

The invention and democratization of the Web ≥ 2.0 has dramatically increased the diversity and quantity of Internet-powered interactions. Now, those interactions feature predominant idiosyncrasies (e.g. 1-shot type, asynchronous, geographically dispersed, anonymous, etc.) which represent a perfect fertilizer to maintain a large "garden" full of Akerlof’s Lemons1 [Akerlof, 19702]. To limit such a natural information asymmetry and encourage cooperation on the Internet, reputation mechanisms have emerged as an increasingly important component of online exchanges.

Nowadays, we decide to buy a good or a service online because we have a belief that this good or service will correspond to our expectations. For instance, we choose to install an application on our smartphone because it has positive reviews, we choose to bid on an item on eBay because the seller has a favourable feedback score or we book a table in a restaurant because of its rating on Yelp. While the mechanisms for accumulating reputation are principally informal in offline settings, such mechanisms become structured online, making then possible their study and analysis. This appealing and crucial change gave birth to an important and growing literature about (online) reputation in the last decade or so, whose main focus is the ex-post effects of reputation for online interactions, e.g., the impact of a seller's reputation on auction prices or the development of cooperation within economies à la eBay. One can mention the works by Bolton, Cabral, Dellarocas, Ockenfels and Resnick, among others.

My D.Phil thesis proposes another perspective by adopting an ex-ante approach interested in analysing the mechanisms and determinants necessary to the very formation of reputation and the effects of the latter factors and dynamics on the derivation of trust. More particularly, my research focuses on the design of rating systems adapted to the specificities of every online economy. Questions raised in the thesis are as follows:

  1. How many ratings to display in an online reputation system?
  2. What rating scale to implement?
  3. How to limit herding reporting mechanisms?


DPhil Thesis

Bersier, F. (2013, exp), From Online Reputation to eTrust. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

Research Interests

Rating Systems, Online Reputation, eTrust, Game Theory, Behavioural Economics, Algorithmic Economics, Social Informatics.

Research Sponsors

  • Schatcherd Scholarship. This award, set up in 1993, helps to build links between Oxford and Europe, and is awarded on the basis of outstanding academic merit.
  • ESRC Studentship, the British Economic and Social Research Council.

Selected Citations

Latest Publications

Section coming soon. Meanwhile, please check my SSRN page.

Any comments or questions about my ongoing research ? Let's talk ...