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Is there any evidence that the size of a bounty affects the quality or quantity of responses? Anecdotally it seems that it does not, and that the existence of a bounty is sufficient. However, is there any data behind such assertions? I can buy those arguments, but I can also buy the argument that large bounties attract a better audience. Has this been studied at all?

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"How often is a second bounty offered on a question?" That may be an interesting surrogate. – user7116 Feb 6 '12 at 19:57
It's more important how you use it, say men with small bounties; I'm keeping my opinion for myself on this, though. – Damien Pirsy Feb 6 '12 at 20:25
@DamienPirsy In the interest of professionalism, I intentionally avoiding making the 3-word question title that you are thinking of. – Michael McGowan Feb 6 '12 at 20:30
@Closevoter Why is this not constructive? The very point of my question is that I'm seeking "facts, references, or specific expertise" in order to avoid the "opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion" that has been found when similar questions have been asked before. The whole point of the question is to get hard evidence of that which has only been debated...this is the antithesis of the cited closed reason. – Michael McGowan Feb 6 '12 at 21:24

I've tried to approximate this with this query:

SELECT BountyAmount, AVG(Score) AS AverageScore, COUNT(*) AS NumPosts
FROM Posts
ON Posts.Id = Votes.PostId
WHERE BountyAmount > 0
GROUP BY BountyAmount
ORDER BY BountyAmount

It doesn't account for whether or not the post was made during or before the bounty period, though.


The answer appears to be yes.

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+1 Nice! If this question had a (large) bounty. I'm sure you would get it ;) – Lix Feb 6 '12 at 21:55
"It doesn't account for whether or not the post was made during or before the bounty period, though." I greatly appreciate the effort (+1), but I feel this could be problematic. A designed use-case of bounties is to reward good answers (which presumably have high vote tallies already), so there's already a built-in correlation if not properly accounting for existing votes. – Michael McGowan Feb 6 '12 at 22:00
+1. Interesting, but a 500 bounty may work like advertising to the voters, in addition to the effect on the actual answer texts. It would be interesting to get the Average Score per page view on the Y axis and the Bounty score on the X axis. – Johan Lundberg Feb 6 '12 at 22:04

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