The Newcomer Gauntlet. A theoretical diagram of barriers to entry in
Wikipedia are depicted with the hypothesized effect of VisualEditor's
reduction in technical literacy barrier highlighted in green.
TL;DR: We ran an experiment where we gave a WYSIWYG editor to newly registered editors in Wikipedia and monitored the effect it had on their productivity. We found that it didn't affect productivity either way. I think that this is because the barriers to entry in Wikipedia primarily consist of social/motivational issues, so reducing the technical literacy barriers that VE targets did not have a meaningful effect.
The talk is embedded below. My talk is first. There's a second talk by some students looking at building a knowledge graph with Wikipedia and some google tech too.