Self-Regulation vs State Regulation: Evidence from Cinema Age Restrictions
74 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2018 Last revised: 23 Mar 2021
Date Written: November 25, 2020
This paper studies the effect of self-regulation on the leniency of cinema age restrictions using cross-country variation in the classifications applied to 1,922 movies released in 31 countries between 2002 and 2011. Our data show that restrictive classifications reduce box office revenues, particularly for movies with wide box office appeal. These data also show that self-regulated ratings agencies display greater leniency than state-regulated agencies when classifying movies with wide appeal. However, consistent with theoretical models of self-regulation, the degree of leniency is small because it is not costly for governments to intervene and regulate ratings themselves.
Keywords: self-regulation, movies
JEL Classification: L51
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