This study examines whether and how entrepreneurs' facial trustworthiness is associated with the success of their crowdfunding campaigns. We adopt a novel dataset extracted from the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and employ machine learning-based facial detection techniques to construct a comprehensive index that measures facial trustworthiness for our investigation. Our results suggest that entrepreneurs' facial trustworthiness is positively associated with crowdfunding campaign success. Specifically, trustworthy-looking entrepreneurs receive a 13.1% greater pledge amount and attract 4.8% more backers in their crowdfunding campaign as compared to those who are untrustworthy-looking. We also find that the facial trustworthiness of female entrepreneurs plays a more prominent role in determining project success than that of male entrepreneurs. Our results are robust to a series of additional analyses and sensitivity checks. Overall, the results of our study suggest that entrepreneurs' facial trustworthiness is an important factor that affects funders' decision-making process in reward-based crowdfunding.
- Facial trustworthiness perception