My experience with voting on the reviewing queues is that the community quickly votes to close question even when the user is visibly new to Econ.SE.

The last example of this sort is this question, obviously from a new user with no experience on other SE sites, which got 3 close vote in less than an hour.

I tend to believe that with new users, it is better practice to tell them what's wrong and give them a chance to improve their question (like @Foobar did in the linked question). I am worried that if we close questions too fast, we will deter new user who just need some time to learn about the best way to ask questions here.

So my question is : should we vote to close differently for new vs. experienced users ?


1 Answer 1


To my eyes, putting bad questions on hold early, protects the site from the phenomenon where bad questions get answers, and the incentive for the OP to improve the question is lost (and we are economists, we know how important incentives are). This should not be changed when the user is new.

But, if the user is new, then always, someone among "us" (us the older and more experienced here) should post an encouraging comment to the problematic question, in an attempt to nudge the OP to improve his or her question, and bringing it more in line with the Economics.SE community. The comment should not be hostile and dismissive, and it should clearly mention that we will be happy to re-open the question when improved, and see it getting some great answers. (I have left a number of such comments -some of them did not follow these suggestions, and I apologize to the community for that).

I am not trying to dictate to other members here what "they should do". I am just solving informally a utility maximization problem with a utility function that is increasing in both quantity and quality of content here.

"Leniency" could be reflected in the standards we will apply to judge whether the attempt from the OP's part to improve the question was successful or not.


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