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Applications (Applied Micro) Seminars

The Birth of a Nation: media and racial hate

Desmond Ang (Harvard)

Monday 02 November 2020 16:00 - 17:30

This event will take place online.

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Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

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About this event

This paper documents the short- and long-run impacts of popular media on racial hate. I do so in the context of the first American blockbuster: the 1915 film "The Birth of a Nation," a racist retelling of the Civil War and Reconstruction lionizing the then-defunct Ku Klux Klan. Exploiting the staggered distribution of the film's "road show", I find a sharp increase in lynchings coinciding with the movie's arrival in a county. To examine long-run effects, I instrument for whether the film was shown in an area using information on the historical stock of movie theaters. I find that treated areas were significantly more likely to participate in the rebirth of the KKK during the 1920s. These areas continue to experience higher prevalence of hate crimes and hate groups nearly a century later.

Applications (Applied Micro) Seminars are held on Mondays in term time at 16:00-17:30 ONLINE, or in meeting room 3.05 if the speaker attends in person.

Seminar organiser: Xavier Jaravel

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

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This event will take place online.