Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Media Studies

Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Carlin Wing

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© 2018 Taylor Milana


In the field of labor economics, abundant research has been conducted on the cause and magnitude of the gender wage gap in various industries in the United States. While the national gender wage gap has decreased over the last few decades, this trend has not been observed in every industry. The film industry, in particular, has experienced a notable lack of progress in both its social and economic treatment of women. Because Hollywood has significant influence in the United States, its misguided portrayal of women and failure to ensure equal pay for male and female actors sets a harmful standard for the rest of the nation. Due to the confidential nature of actors’ salaries, however, there is little research on the topic of the gender wage gap in Hollywood. Using a couple hundred observations, I examined the magnitude of the gender wage gap in Hollywood and compared the impact of gender on actors’ salaries to that of more pertinent variables, such as critical success and available finances. I concluded that gender has a greater effect on an actor’s salary than any other variable. In consideration of the relative lack of literature on this topic, I recommend several ways to further the research conducted in this study.

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Economics Commons