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American Idol: Evidence of Same-Race Preferences?

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  • Lee, Jungmin

    ()
    (Sogang University)

Abstract

This study examines whether viewers of the popular television show, American Idol, are racially biased. I find strong evidence for same-race preferences, in particular among black viewers. Featuring more black contestants attracts more black households to tune in to watch the show. And, with more black viewers, a black contestant is less likely to be voted off.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1974.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Analysis and Policy, 2009, 9 (1), Article 28, 2009.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1974

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Keywords: customer discrimination; TV viewership; voting;

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  1. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in professional sports: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
  2. Levitt, Steven D, 2004. "Testing Theories of Discrimination: Evidence from Weakest Link," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 431-52, October.
  3. H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1122-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, April.
  5. Aldrich Eric M & Arcidiacono Peter S. & Vigdor Jacob L, 2005. "Do People Value Racial Diversity? Evidence from Nielsen Ratings," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, February.
  6. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Why so only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 803-826, 08.
  7. Kanazawa, Mark T & Funk, Jonas P, 2001. "Racial Discrimination in Professional Basketball: Evidence from Nielsen Ratings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 599-608, October.
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