IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

American Idol: Should it be a Singing Contest or a Popularity Contest?

  • Amegashie, J. Atsu

In the very popular FOX TV reality show, American Idol, the judges, who are presumably experts in evaluating singing effort, have no voting power when the field is narrowed to the top twenty-four contestants. It is only the votes of viewers that count. In the 2007 season of the show, Simon Cowell, a judge and the brainchild of the show, threatened to quit the show if a contestant, Sanjaya Malakar, who was clearly a low-ability contestant, won the competition. He was concerned that the show was becoming a popularity contest instead of a singing contest. Is this a problem? Not necessarily. I show that, under certain conditions, making success in the contest dependent on a contestant’s popularity and not solely on her singing ability or performance, could paradoxically increase aggregate singing effort. It may be optimal to give the entire voting power to the viewers whose evaluation of singing effort is noisier.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6465/1/MPRA_paper_6465.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 6465.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 26 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6465
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2002. "Contest Architecture," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1007, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  3. Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Arieh Gavious & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2002. "Bid Costs and Endogenous Bid Caps," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 709-722, Winter.
  5. Matthias Kräkel, 2007. "Optimal Risk Taking in an Uneven Tournament Game with Risk Averse Players," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse4_2007, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. Taylor, Jonathan, 2003. "Risk-taking behavior in mutual fund tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 373-383, March.
  7. Derek J. Clark & Kai A. Konrad, 2007. "Contests with Multi-tasking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 303-319, 06.
  8. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  9. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  10. Hans K. Hvide, 2002. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 877-898, October.
  11. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  12. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2005. "Contests for Status," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 139, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  13. Board, Oliver J. & Blume, Andreas & Kawamura, Kohei, 2007. "Noisy talk," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(4), December.
  14. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  15. Hvide, H.K. & Kristiansen, E.G., 1999. "Risk Taking in Selection Contests," Papers 5-99, Tel Aviv.
  16. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Kutsoati, Edward, 2007. "(Non)intervention in intra-state conflicts," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 754-767, September.
  17. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  18. Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
  19. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Patrick Francois & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2008. "Pro-social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(1), pages 22-54, March.
  21. Steven Tadelis, 2002. "The Market for Reputations as an Incentive Mechanism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 854-882, August.
  22. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  23. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  24. Maria Arbatskaya & Hugo Mialon, 2010. "Multi-activity contests," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 23-43, April.
  25. Clark, Derek J. & Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Contests with multi-tasking," Munich Reprints in Economics 22095, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  26. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  27. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  28. Qiang Fu, 2006. "A Theory of Affirmative Action in College Admissions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 420-428, July.
  29. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "Reduced prizes and increased effort in contests," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 447-453, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6465. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.