Title: When Airpocalypse Met Blockbusters: The Impact of Air Pollution on Box Office
Speaker: Junjie Zhang, Duke Kunshan University
Host: Mengmeng Guo, Associate professor, RIEM
Time: 13:55-16:30, Nov.18, Friday
Venue: H503 Yide Hall, Liulin Campus
Abstract: This paper estimates the ramification of air quality and theatrical market performances with daily data of Air Pollution Index (API) and movie attendance and revenue from China. It is the first attempt to assess the impact of air quality on consumption. Our data cover 829 movies shown on screens in 56 major Chinese cities during 2012--2014. Our benchmark estimations show that air pollution in China has negative effects on both daily movie audiences and revenue. In particular, a 10% reduction in API leads to a 0.19% increase in total daily audiences in a city, while the benefit in total daily revenue is 0.28%. These numbers should be interpreted as the lower bound estimates that air pollution has on the entertainment industry that includes theaters and restaurants. The baseline result that API negatively affects daily performance of movies is robust to a number of alternative specifications and sub-samples analyses.