Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1483835
 
 

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Racial Bias in Expert Quality Assessment: A Study of Newspaper Movie Reviews


Lona Fowdur


Economists Incorporated

Vrinda Kadiyali


Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Jeffrey Prince


Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy

October 6, 2009

Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 7-2010

Abstract:     
Newspaper critics' movie reviews are often used by potential movie viewers as signals of expert quality assessment. We investigate the existence and revenue impact of racial bias in these reviews. Using an expansive, novel dataset spanning 2003-2007, we find ratings for movies with a black lead actor and all white supporting cast are approximately 6% lower than for other racial compositions. These findings appear consistent with implicit discrimination, and result in an average revenue loss of up to 4%, or $2.57 million, per movie. Robustness checks show it is unlikely these results are driven by unobserved heterogeneity or random correlations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: racial bias, quality assessment, expert ratings, movies, implicit discrimination

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Date posted: October 10, 2009 ; Last revised: May 13, 2014

Suggested Citation

Fowdur, Lona and Kadiyali, Vrinda and Prince, Jeffrey, Racial Bias in Expert Quality Assessment: A Study of Newspaper Movie Reviews (October 6, 2009). Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 7-2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1483835

Contact Information

Lona Fowdur
Economists Incorporated ( email )
Washington, DC 20036
United States
2028335244 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.ei.com
Vrinda Kadiyali
Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-1985 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)
Jeffrey Prince (Contact Author)
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy ( email )
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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