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CentrePiece article
TV superstars: how a new technology disrupted the entertainment industry
Felix Koenig
March 2020
Paper No' CEPCP574:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 25 (1) Spring 2020

JEL Classification: J31; J23; O33; D31

Tags: superstar effect; inequality; top incomes; technical change

The rollout of television to virtually every household in the United States in the mid-twentieth century created a potentially huge audience for people working in the entertainment industry. As Felix Koenig explains, this experience illustrates how new technologies can have a disruptive impact on labour markets: a handful of superstars were richly rewarded, but the majority of entertainers ended up worse off.

This article summarises 'Technical Change and Superstar Effects: Evidence from the Roll-out of Television' by Felix Koenig, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1663