Voting Bias in the Eurovision Song Contest: Friendship, Impartiality and Diasporas

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
2.03 (Binnengasthuis)
Nicholas Charron , University of Gothenburg
This paper explains voting bias in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) from 1975-2012.  Building on numerous empirical studies in the literature, this paper advances three untested hypotheses.  First, it is shown here that while most all participants tend to systematically bias their votes toward certain countries (be it for contiguity, shared language, culture, etc.) this bias is off-set significantly by the extent to which a voting country’s political institutions are ‘impartial’.  The greater the impartiality of a country’s political institutions, the more likely a country votes ‘quality over friendship’.  Second, the ‘diaspora effect’ – that minority groups in host countries sway points toward their home countries – is directly tested.  Third, the diaspora effect is expected to be strongest the greater the percentage of points each country allocates via televoting.  Controlling for several factors relevant to this literature, strong empirical support is found for all three hypotheses.
  • Charron CES.pdf (579.6 kB)