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Revolving door effect in the media: New cohort method reveals a dual job market for actors and actresses

Mathieu Arbogast, CRESPPA-GTM (CNRS) & CEMS (EHESS)

Gender inequalities are a growing concern in the film and television industry. The double standard of age and gender (Sontag) was already known and research showed that actresses nominees are structurally younger than their male counterparts. Moreover, the creative decisions about the characters have a direct impact on the job opportunities (knowing that in the major programs the leading roles are paid about 400’000$ per episode). We test the hypothesis that according to the gendered organizations theory (Acker) there is a dual job market for actors and actresses. Specifically, there is a revolving door effect (Jacobs) in TV series: women stay less longer in the casting and thus tend to be younger than men. Indeed, focusing on TV series (the most widely spread cultural practice worldwide) allows for a cohort analysis of the changes in the casting from one season to the next. We used a survival analysis of the original cast. Then we analyzed the cast changes with a logistic regression. Results show that the gender gap deepens when series last longer than 10 seasons. After a few seasons, the changes in the female cast tend to grow, whereas the male cast is much more stable.

Keywords: Gender, Age structure, Human capital and labour markets, Longitudinal studies

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 35. Gender Inequalities: Drivers and Impacts