Monday, September 8, 2008

No Hay Tele

A favorite quip of urban Latin American women is when a rural family has a lot of children “No Hay Tele,” there isn’t any Television.

That quip is seeming to be more true than some might have expected as highlighted by a recent Wall Street Journal article about economists doing research on the impacts of TV. About a year ago, I highlighted one work discussed by Emily Oster, which suggests that cable TV in India decreased fertility rates as women wanted to be more like the small families they saw on telanovelas.

One work not highlighted by the article, is by my fellow Wisconsin Ag Econ graduate, Jorge Aguero. Jorge watched hours of the South African version of the TV show The Weakest Link to test for discrimination against black contestants. He finds that white players don’t change their strategy to choose African teammates who performed well in the initial round. Indicating possible discrimination.

Since people spend so much time watching, discussing television, the impacts and its information are potentially particularly insightful.
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