Love thy Neighbor, Love thy Kin: Voting Biases in the Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest provides a setting where Europeans can express their sentiments about other countries without regard to political sensitivities. Analyzing voting data from the 25 contests between 1981-2005, we find strong evidence for the existence of clusters of countries that systematically exchange votes regardless of the quality of their entries. Cultural, geographic, economic and political factors are important determinants of points awarded from one country to another. Other non-quality related factors such as order of appearance, the language of the song and the gender of the performing artist, are also important. There is also a substantial host country effect
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