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The Eurovision song contest: is voting political or cultural?

  • Abdul Ghafar Noury
  • Victor Ginsburgh

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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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/7746/1/Eurovision-reprint.pdf
File Function: Eurovision-reprint
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/7746.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in: European journal of political economy (2008) v.24 n° 1,p.41-52
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/7746
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. Haan, Marco & Dijkstra, Gerhard & Dijkstra, Peter, 2003. "Expert judgment versus public opinion : evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," CCSO Working Papers 200305, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh, 2003. "Awards, success and aesthetic quality in the arts," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1679, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Holcombe, Randall G & Sobel, Russell S, 1996. " The Stability of International Coalitions in United Nations Voting from 1946 to 1973," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(1-2), pages 17-34, January.
  4. Voeten, Erik, 2000. "Clashes in the Assembly," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 185-215, March.
  5. Derek Gatherer, 2006. "Comparison of Eurovision Song Contest Simulation with Actual Results Reveals Shifting Patterns of Collusive Voting Alliances," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 9(2), pages 1.
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