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Open Access Publications from the University of California

I’d Like to Thank the Academy, Team Spillovers, and Network Centrality

  • Author(s): Rossman, Gabriel
  • Esparza, Nicole
  • Bonacich, Phillip
  • et al.

In this article we use Academy Award nominations for acting to explore how artistic achievement is situated within collaborative context. The context of individual effort is particularly important in film since quality is not transparent and the project-based nature of the field allows us to observe individuals in multiple contexts. Controlling for the actor’s personal history and basic traits of the film we explore two basic predictions. First, we find that status, as measured by asymmetric centrality in the network of screen credits, is an efficient measure of star power and mediates the relationship between experience and formal artistic consecration. Second, we find that actors are most likely to be consecrated when working with elite collaborators. We conclude by arguing that selection into privileged work teams is a locus of cumulative advantage.

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