What's a Tony Award Worth?
The economics behind a drag queen on Broadway.
Sunday's Tony Awards in New York City sang the praises of "Kinky Boots," a musical about a drag queen who helps save a struggling British shoe company. So far the show has grossed $13.5 million. But will the production cash in on a Tony win? An MSN Money article "Tony Award will bring a 'Kinky Boots' windfall," looked to associate professor of economics Leslie Chiou and economist Melissa Boyle of Holy Cross College for the answer.
Chiou and Boyle say in a 2009 paper that "the effect of a Tony win can linger for as long as a year after the announcement of the award. Revenue in the week after a Tony victory surges by about 12%. Conversely, nominees that fail to win the Tony are 'penalized heavily' by theatergoers." Chiou and Boyle's paper "Broadway productions and the value of a Tony Award" investigates the effect of a Tony nomination or win on the demand facing a Broadway production using a panel of weekly revenues for Broadway productions from 1996 to 2007. You can read the full article in the Journal of Cultural Economics.
Chiou's research examines how consumer behavior can influence the actions of firms and inform public policy. Her research spans three areas: the retail sector, information and technology, and arts and media markets.