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Efficiency and Inefficiency in the Ranking in Competitions: the Case of the Queen Elisabeth Music Contest

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  • Herbert Glejser
  • Bruno Heyndels

Abstract

The Queen Elisabeth Contest is one of the most prestigious competitions in classical music. For both the artists who participate and for the public, it is important that the ranking of the finalists be affected as little as possible by exogenous factors relating to the organisation of the competition. Still, it is impossible to control for all contingencies. Thus, the ranking can be expected to deviate from that obtained in a hypothetical full-information assessment process. As such, the ranking may be unfair to the candidates and inefficient in providing information to the consumer. Deviations from the full-information ideal may result from self-selection of candidates, from positive information at the margin, and from differences in circumstances. Analysing data on all piano and violin versions of the Contest over the period 1956–1999, we find strong evidence of biases in the rankingprocess. Confirming previous research, we find that musicians who perform later in the final week or later on a given day in this week (on average) obtain a better classification. Further, in the piano competitions women obtain lower rankings and, prior to 1990, finalists from the Soviet Union obtained higherrankings than average. The jury appreciates innovation in the sense that musicians who perform a more recently composed concerto obtain a higher rank. Finally – especiallyfor violin – the candidate's decision to perform a popular concerto leadsto a lower ranking. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Herbert Glejser & Bruno Heyndels, 2001. "Efficiency and Inefficiency in the Ranking in Competitions: the Case of the Queen Elisabeth Music Contest," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 25(2), pages 109-129, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:25:y:2001:i:2:p:109-129
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007659804416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Throsby, David, 1994. "The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-29, March.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Renato Flores Galvao, 1996. "The Queen Elisabeth Musical Competition: how fair is the final ranking," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1713, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    1. Casas, Agustin & Díaz, Guillermo & Mavridis, Christos, 2016. "The last shall be the first : failed accountability due to voters fatigue and ballot design," UC3M Working papers. Economics 22539, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Marco Haan & S. Dijkstra & Peter Dijkstra, 2005. "Expert Judgment Versus Public Opinion – Evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(1), pages 59-78, February.
    3. Brinja Meiseberg, 2014. "Trust the artist versus trust the tale: performance implications of talent and self-marketing in folk music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(1), pages 9-42, February.
    4. Stefan D. Haigner & Stefan Jenewein & Hans-Christian Müller & Florian Wakolbinger, 2010. "The first shall be last: Serial position effects in the case contestants evaluate each other," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 3170-3176.
    5. Page, Lionel & Page, Katie, 2010. "Last shall be first: A field study of biases in sequential performance evaluation on the Idol series," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 186-198, February.
    6. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Szafarz, Ariane, 2011. "The modern corporation as a safe haven for taste-based discrimination: An agency model of hiring decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 487-497, August.
    7. Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2015. "(Not Finding a) Sequential Order Bias in Elite Level Gymnastics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 724-741, January.
    8. Budzinski, Oliver & Pannicke, Julia, 2017. "Does popularity matter in a TV song competition? Evidence from a national music contest," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 106, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    9. Schweizer, T.S., 2002. "Managing interactions between technological and stylistic innovation in the media industries, insights from the introduction of ebook technology in the publishing industry," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-16-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    10. Ho Fai Chan & Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Does the John Bates Clark Medal boost subsequent productivity and citation success?," ECON - Working Papers 111, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Daniel Feenberg & Ina Ganguli & Patrick Gaulé & Jonathan Gruber, 2017. "It’s Good to Be First: Order Bias in Reading and Citing NBER Working Papers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 32-39, March.
    12. Jürgen Rösch, 2014. "More Surf, Less Bias: The Influence of Advertising in Two-Sided Sport Markets," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 9(4), pages 331-345, November.
    13. Danbolt, Jo & Siganos, Antonios & Vagenas-Nanos, Evangelos, 2015. "Investor sentiment and bidder announcement abnormal returns," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 164-179.
    14. Chan, Ho Fai & Frey, Bruno S. & Gallus, Jana & Torgler, Benno, 2014. "Academic honors and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 188-204.
    15. Hillary N. Morgan & Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2014. "The Harder The Task, The Higher The Score: Findings Of A Difficulty Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1014-1026, July.
    16. Bruine de Bruin, Wandi & Keren, Gideon, 2003. "Order effects in sequentially judged options due to the direction of comparison," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-101.

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    Keywords

    classical music; contests; expert information;

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