The evolution of trust in Airbnb: A case of home rental

Eyal Ert, Aliza Fleischer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Certification
  • Peer-to-peer accommodation
  • Reputation
  • Sharing economy
  • Trust


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