Do People Value Racial Diversity? Evidence from Nielsen Ratings

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2005

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Abstract

Nielsen ratings for ABC's Monday Night Football are significantly higher when the game involves a black quarterback. In this paper, we consider competing explanations for this effect. First, quarterback race might proxy for other player or team attributes. Second, black viewership patterns might be sensitive to quarterback race. Third, viewers of all races might be exhibiting a taste for diversity. We use both ratings data and evidence on racial attitudes from the General Social Survey to test these hypotheses empirically. The evidence strongly supports the taste-for-diversity hypothesis, while suggesting some role for black own-race preferences as well.

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Scholars@Duke

Arcidiacono

Peter S. Arcidiacono

William Henry Glasson Distinguished Professor of Economics

Professor Arcidiacono specializes in research involving applied microeconomics, applied economics, and labor economics. His research primarily focuses on education and discrimination. His work focuses specifically on the exploration of a variety of subjects, such as structural estimation, affirmative action, minimum wages, teen sex, discrimination, higher education, and dynamic discrete choice models, among others. He recently received funding from a National Science Foundation Grant for his project, “CCP Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models with Unobserved Heterogeneity.” He has also been awarded grants from NICHD for his work entitled, “A Dynamic Model of Teen Sex, Abortion, and Childbearing;” and from the Smith Richardson Foundation for his study, “Does the River Spill Over? Race and Peer Effects in the College & Beyond” with Jacob Vigdor. Other recent studies of his include, “The Distributional Effects of Minimum Wage Increases when Both Labor Supply and Labor Demand are Endogenous” with Tom Ahm and Walter Wessles; “Explaining Cross-racial Differences in Teenage Labor Force Participation: Results from a General Equilibrium Search Model” with Alvin Murphy and Omari Swinton; and “The Effects of Gender Interactions in the Lab and in the Field” in collaboration with Kate Antonovics and Randy Walsh.


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