The Eurovision Song Contest. Is voting political or cultural?
We analyze the voting behavior and ratings of judges in a popular song contest held every year in Europe since 1956. The dataset makes it possible to analyze the determinants of success, and gives a rare opportunity to run a direct test of vote trading. Though the votes cast may appear as resulting from such trading, we show that they are rather driven by quality of the participants as well as by linguistic and cultural proximities between singers and voting countries. Therefore, and contrary to what was recently suggested, there seems to be no reason to take the result of the Contest as mimicking the political conflicts (and friendships).
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