February 2006

IZA DP No. 1974: American Idol: Evidence of Same-Race Preferences?

published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Analysis and Policy, 2009, 9 (1), Article 28, 2009.

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.