Video games are considered as a leisure activity that makes being unemployed more attractive than before. In this study, the authors use eSports prizes as a proxy for the popularity of video games to analyze its influence on total and youth unemployment.
The authors develop a theoretical model and empirically test it using the total prize money won by representatives of a country in a given season in eSports tournaments, via a panel regression model with the country-year as a unit of observation. The data set includes information about 191 countries between 2000 and 2015.
The authors’ results of regression analysis show a positive influence of the popularity of video games on the unemployment rate. In addition, the authors analyze this effect for countries with different levels of income and labor productivity. The authors found a significant inverse relationship between income level and the effect of the popularity of video games on total and youth unemployment.
While previous studies rely mostly on self-reported data, the authors suggest a new approach to measure video game popularity. This paper contributes to existing knowledge with empirical evidence on how leisure activities affect unemployment at the country level.
This paper is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE).
Parshakov, P., Paklina, S., Coates, D. and Chadov, A. (2021), "Does video games’ popularity affect unemployment rate? Evidence from macro-level analysis", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 817-835. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-07-2019-0339
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