Bechdel at the Box Office: Gender Inequality and Cinema Success in 58 Countries

Présentation de Andrew E. Clark - Paris School of Economics, CNRS

Andrew E. Clark
Joint with Conchita D’Ambrosio and Giorgia Menta (University of Luxembourg)

Abstract :
We here establish a link between various country-level measures of gender inequality and the relative success (as measured by Box Office Receipts) of films across different countries. We establish the “gender-equality” of each film using the Bechdel test (which is passed for films with at least two named women in, who talk to each other about something other than a man). In most countries we find that films that pass the Bechdel test have significantly higher box-office receipts (controlling for the film budget). The cinema success of gender-equal films is correlated with a number of established measures of gender equality, establishing a link between reported attitudes and multiple-item lists, on the one hand, and revealed preference in each country as measured by the choice of different types of films.