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American Idol: Evidence of Same-Race Preferences?

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  • Lee, Jungmin

    () (Seoul National 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Jungmin, 2006. "American Idol: Evidence of Same-Race Preferences?," IZA Discussion Papers 1974, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1974
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harry J. Holzer & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1998. "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 835-867.
    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 431-452, October.
    3. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, April.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, August.
    6. Waldfogel, Joel, 2003. " Preference Externalities: An Empirical Study of Who Benefits Whom in Differentiated-Product Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 557-568, Autumn.
    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.
    8. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in Professional Sports: A Survey of the Literature," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    customer discrimination; TV viewership; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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