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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

Undergraduate Education and the Gender Wage Gap: An Analysis of the Effects of College Experience and Gender on Income

By Kelsey Siman

Labor and education economists have long been interested in the link between undergraduate education and earnings. In addition, studies have addressed the connections between gender and college major and GPA, as well as between gender and income. This paper brings all of these together in order to show that college major choice does have a significant effect on earnings, and that this effect differs with gender and across majors. The results show that controlling for college major, ability measures, graduation year, and GPA can help to explain a majority of the gender pay gap. Finally, the thesis then utilizes the Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition to break down the price and composition effect of undergraduate education on the gender pay gap.

Honor’s Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Arnaud Maurel, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: A22, J16 | Tagged: College, Gender, Income

Questions?

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