The impact of air pollution on movie theater admissions
We provide new evidence of pollution avoidance in the movie theater market. Our analysis is based on a unique dataset of high-frequency movie ticket sales in China at the movie- and city-level during 2012–2014. We estimate that one pollution day reduces the market share of a movie by 2.26%, other things being equal. The effect is mainly through ambient pollution exposure during transportation to the theater. On average, popular movies are inelastic to air pollution. However, as air quality deteriorates, even blockbuster movies start to suffer a box-office loss during the heavy pollution episodes.
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