Censorship of U.S. movies in China

Originally published in Journal of Cultural Economics

We introduce a structural econometric model to estimate the extent to which the Chinese government bans U.S. movies. According to our estimates, if a movie has characteristics similar to the median movie in our sample, then the probability is approximately 0.91 that the Chinese government will ban it. During our sample period, 1994–2019, U.S. movies comprised about 28 percent of the Chinese market and sales were about $22.6 billion. However, according to our estimates, if the Chinese government had not banned any U.S. movies, then the latter numbers would have risen to 68 percent and $45.1 billion.

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