Do People Value Racial Diversity? Evidence from Nielsen Ratings

Posted: 30 Nov 2009

See all articles by Eric M. Aldrich

Eric M. Aldrich

University of California, Santa Cruz

Peter Arcidiacono

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jacob L. Vigdor

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 30, 2009

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.

Keywords: Customer Discrimination, Racial Diversity, Learning

Suggested Citation

Aldrich, Eric Mark and Arcidiacono, Peter and Vigdor, Jacob L., Do People Value Racial Diversity? Evidence from Nielsen Ratings (November 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1515774

Eric Mark Aldrich

University of California, Santa Cruz ( email )

Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-4247 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ealdrich.com

Peter Arcidiacono (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jacob L. Vigdor

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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