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I suppose I'm most interested with regards to Stack Overflow, but of the questions on which a bounty has been placed, in what proportion of them does someone actually claim the bounty by providing an accepted answer?

Various spin-off questions would be:

  • What is the breakdown between bounties offered by the original author and those offered by a third-party?
  • What is the breakdown by tag?
  • What is the breakdown by users who have placed bounties on questions?

My intuition is that these percentages are actually low — maybe even alarmingly so, however, without the statistics, there's no reason to believe my intuition any more than someone else's.

It would be nice if Stack Exchange reported the general statistic per site. I feel that if I'm laying down a bounty, I should know the probability of getting something for it.

Perhaps the software doesn't or can't even track this information, though, in which case, I suppose this is a demanding feature request, but still... if the bounty system is actually a harmful feature that preys on ingrained human psychological ineptitude, I think we have a right to know.

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The information should be discoverable - it should be viable to create a query on the Data Explorer. Let's see who'll crack one out and report the findings first. –  Grace Note Jan 27 '11 at 20:32
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Also, note that depending on the query, the statistics aren't guaranteed to represent actual merits of getting solutions to bounty questions. Sometimes, people will get lots of answers but still not have a satisfactory answer and thus not award the bounty. Other times, bounties are awarded to provide a prize to an existing answer on top of whatever bonuses it has gotten. So, whatever the findings we provide, take it with a grain of salt. ♪ –  Grace Note Jan 27 '11 at 20:40
    
@Grace Note: Wise point. –  gotgenes Jan 27 '11 at 22:20

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