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Media bias against women in music: an empirical analysis of Italian music magazines

Andrea Mangani ()
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Andrea Mangani: University of Pisa

Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, 2021, vol. 38, issue 2, No 10, 657-676

Abstract: Abstract The music industry presents a strong gender disparity in all genres and roles (composers, musicians, conductors). The reasons for the disparity discussed in the socio-economic literature regard genetic diversity, socio-cultural differences, and gender discrimination. Discrimination can be aggravated by the negative attitude of the mass media towards the women involved in the music industry. This paper explores the potential media bias in 2022 reviews of pop-rock and jazz albums released internationally between 2003 and 2015, published in two major Italian music magazines. The empirical analysis shows that the reviews of “female” albums consist of fewer words than the “male” albums, but the difference is significant only for a magazine. Within each magazine, the data also reveal two weak qualitative biases (though not significant): the reviews are more positive if no woman appears among the artists and, if the reviewer is a woman, the attitude towards the albums by female artists is, on average, worse.

Keywords: Mass media; Media bias; Gender discrimination; Music industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J71 L82 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40888-020-00188-3

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