What makes a critic tick? Connected authors and the determinants of book reviews
This paper investigates the determinants of expert reviews in the book industry. Reviews are determined not only by the quality of the product but also by the incentives of the media outlet providing the review. For example, a media outlet may have the incentive to provide favorable coverage to certain authors or to slant reviews toward the horizontal preferences of certain readers. Empirically, we find that an author's connection to the media outlet is related to the outcome of the review decision. When a book's author also writes for a media outlet, that outlet is 25% more likely to review the book relative to other media outlets, and the resulting ratings are roughly 5% higher. Prima facie, it is unclear whether media outlets are favoring their own authors because these are the authors that their readers prefer or simply because they are trying to collude. We provide a test to distinguish between these two potential mechanisms, and present evidence that this is because of tastes rather than collusion – the effect of connections is present both for authors who began writing for a media outlet before and after the book release. We then investigate other determinants of expert reviews. Both consumers and expert reviewers seem to favor authors who have won book prizes. Yet relative to consumer reviews, professional critics are less favorable to first time authors and more favorable to authors who have garnered other attention in the press (as measured by number of media mentions outside of the review).
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 96 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dina Mayzlin & Yaniv Dover & Judith A. Chevalier, 2012. "Promotional Reviews: An Empirical Investigation of Online Review Manipulation," NBER Working Papers 18340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2006.
"Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
- Jonah B. Gelbach & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 99, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 98, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990.
"The Politics of Government Decision-Making : a Theory of Regulatory Capture,"
Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP)
9004, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-1127.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," Working papers 506, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Monic Sun, 2012. "How Does the Variance of Product Ratings Matter?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(4), pages 696-707, April.
- Jonah Berger & Alan T. Sorensen & Scott J. Rasmussen, 2010. "Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 815-827, 09-10.
- Laffont, J.J. & Martimort, D., 1996.
"Collusion Under Asymmetric Information,"
95.389, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
- Michael Luca & Georgios Zervas, 2013. "Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-006, Harvard Business School, revised May 2015.
- Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-161, January.
- Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-686.
- Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-694, July.
- Alberto Motta, 2009. "Collusion and Selective Supervision," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0093, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
- Holbrook, Morris B, 1999. " Popular Appeal versus Expert Judgments of Motion Pictures," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 144-155, September.
- Peter Boatwright & Suman Basuroy & Wagner Kamakura, 2007. "Reviewing the reviewers: The impact of individual film critics on box office performance," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 401-425, December.
- Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005.
"Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media,"
- Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 197-227.
- Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:85-103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.