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Category Archives: L82

The Impact of Collegiate Athletic Success and Scandals on Admissions Applications

By William J. Battle-McDonald

This paper examines how the quantity and quality of admissions applications to Division 1 colleges and universities were affected by two non-academic factors: (1) performance of a school’s men’s basketball and football teams; and (2) scandals associated with these athletic programs. Admissions data from 2001 – 2017 were compared to team performance during their football and basketball seasons in order to understand how these non-academic factors contribute to an individual’s decisions to apply for admission. A multivariate linear regression model with school and year fixed effects supported the hypothesis that athletic success positively affects the quantity of applications, increasing them by up to 3% in basketball and 11% in football in the following application period. Seasonal football success was also shown to have negative impacts on the distribution of standardized testing scores of future applicant classes, however these scores were shown to increase when a team played their best season in five or more years. Additional analysis of the effects of athletic program scandals reveals a significant negative effect on the number of applications received, although a deep dive into a few of the most prominent scandals suggests that the benefits associated with violating NCAA rules may, under the right circumstances, be well worth the risk.

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Advisor: Dr. James Roberts | JEL Codes: I23, J24, L82, L83, Z2

Increased Foreign Revenue Shares in the United States Film Industry: 2000 – 2014

By Victoria Lim

The American film industry, which has historically been driven by the domestic market, now receives an increasing proportion of its revenue from abroad (foreign share)To determine the factors influencing this trend, this paper analyzed data from 11 countries of 2,337 American films released during 2000  2014Both film and country attributes were analyzed to determine each attribute’s effect on foreign share, whether its effect size has changed over time and whether each attribute has changed in frequency amongst films released. The results identified six attributes, star actors, sequels, releases in top markets, release time lag, GDP growth and a match in languagethat contributed to the increase in foreign share over this period

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Advisor: James Roberts, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: F40, L82, Z11 | Tagged: Foreign Share, International Box Office Revenue, Motion Picture Industry

Video Game Sales: Does Diversity Pay?

By Helena Wu

The video game industry has grown into a mature market in the past decade, surpassing the size of the U.S. film industry in 2009. As a result of the rise in popularity of video gaming amongst many demographic groups of the American population, the underrepresentation of female and ethnic minorities in video games has become an increasingly relevant topic of discussion. This paper empirically examines the effects of including female and ethnic minority lead characters on the equilibrium sales volume of video games. Through the use of a reduced-­‐form regression, the equilibrium quantity is regressed on a list of exogenous variables pertinent to the interest of this study. The findings suggest that the inclusion of female and minority lead characters affects sales of different genres of games in distinct manners, suggesting that the video game market has a heterogeneous consumer base with a diverse range of preferences. In addition to empirical work, one of the main contributions of this paper is creating a new and unique dataset (N=712) on game attributes, especially with regard to character gender and ethnicity. This paper’s findings have implications on the game design decisions for video game producers.

Honor’s Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Loi Leachman | JEL Codes: D00, L1, L82 | Tagged: Entertainment, Ethnicity, Gender, Sales, Video Game

The Impact of Online Streaming on Primetime Viewership An Econometric Analysis of Technological Change, Network Practices and Audience Behavior

By Yeshwanth Kandimalla

This study considers the impact of online streaming on the viewership of popular primetime programs aired on four major U.S broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. The time period considered will begin with the 2004-2005 TV season through the 2011-2012 season. Technological change, primarily with faster Internet speeds, spurred some growth of online video streaming. Furthermore, over this time period, the four major networks all authorized streaming at different levels. This variation in availability provides the heterogeneity needed to compare the effect of making programs available
online. The existing literature has posited two effects of online streaming: substitution away from traditional TV viewing due to lower costs or complementarity by drawing in additional viewers. Using this framework, this study conducts an empirical analysis of TV viewership and online availability with a panel of more than 3,500 episodes across 8 seasons and 42 programs. The results strongly suggest that online streaming options drive statistically significant substitution away from traditional TV viewing, a trend that can have major consequences for the distribution of TV programs and the broadcast TV business as a whole.

Honors Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Michael Munger, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: D12, D22, L82 | Tagged: Big Four, Cable Cord-cutting, FOX, Hulu, Network Television, Networks, Online Streaming

The Effects of Digital Media on Advertising Markets

By Bradford Lightcap

This paper examines the viability of sustained advertising spending in an increasingly digital age. Beginning with print media and through the advent of television, the ad market has seen vast evolution in information consumption. The result has been a creative adaptability by advertisers to keep pace with said change. However, growth in ad spending has not significantly outpaced GDP growth, as documented in the Relative Constancy Hypothesis. RCH asserts that both ad spending and consumer expenditure as a percent of GDP remain steady over time. This paper focuses on whether the advertising claim holds up through the rise of the Internet. How this powerful medium may alter traditional advertising trends remains unclear. The answer could have implications for both advertisers and parties that rely on them

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Advisor: Connel Fullenkamp | JEL Codes: L82, M3, M37, O39 | Tagged: Digital Media, Relative Constancy Hypothesis

The Influence Effect of Critics’ Reviews on Foreign and Domestic Movies

By Jayoung Jeon

Critics and their reviews provide crucial information for consumers in many “experience goods” markets, and the movie market is one such market. Through their impact on the consumer’s film selection, critics’ reviews influence the first weekend box office performance (the influence effect). We hypothesize that the influence effect of critics’ reviews is different for foreign and domestic movies. Using the U.S. film industry as our empirical setting, we examine the effects of reviews on opening weekend revenues in the U.S. film industry. We find that, when the critics’ assessment of domestic movies is positive, people are discouraged from watching the movie. On the other hand, for foreign movies, the impact of positive reviews is found to be positive. We interpret this result as arising from the different target audiences for foreign and domestic movies. Further analysis of our data supports this hypothesis. We also find that people are more influenced to watch movies when they see multiple reviews than only a few of them. This positive impact of the number of critics’ reviews is greater for domestic than foreign movies, and greater for domestic art movies than domestic non-art movies.

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Advisor: James Roberts | JEL Codes: L82, M37 | Tagged: Art, Critics, Films, Foreign, Movies, Reviews

Questions?

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
dus_asst@econ.duke.edu

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu