The Hollywood Gender Gap: The Role of Action Films

Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez, John Heywood, Maria Navarro Paniagua

Research output: Working paper


We provide the most comprehensive examination to date of gender earnings differentials among Hollywood stars. We argue that this market should be particularly efficient in translating productivity into earnings. Yet, we demonstrate an unexplained female earnings gap of a million dollars a film. Critically, action films drive this. Our movie fixed effects estimate shows a two-million-dollar gap among action movies and a small statistically insignificant gap among other genres. Within the other genres, the only significant earnings gap is among stars older than 50. We argue that these patterns could fit 'consumer discrimination' in a seemingly efficient labour market but also raise other possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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