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Evidence of bias in the Eurovision song contest: modelling the votes using Bayesian hierarchical models

Blangiardo, M; Baio, G; (2014) Evidence of bias in the Eurovision song contest: modelling the votes using Bayesian hierarchical models. Journal of Applied Statistics , 41 (10) pp. 2312-2322. 10.1080/02664763.2014.909792. Green open access

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Abstract

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual musical competition held among active members of the European Broadcasting Union since 1956. The event is televised live across Europe. Each participating country presents a song and receive a vote based on a combination of tele-voting and jury. Over the years, this has led to speculations of tactical voting, discriminating against some participants and thus inducing bias in the final results. In this paper we investigate the presence of positive or negative bias (which may roughly indicate favouritisms or discrimination) in the votes based on geographical proximity, migration and cultural characteristics of the participating countries through a Bayesian hierarchical model. Our analysis found no evidence of negative bias, although mild positive bias does seem to emerge systematically, linking voters to performers.

Type: Article
Title: Evidence of bias in the Eurovision song contest: modelling the votes using Bayesian hierarchical models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02664763.2014.909792
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02664763.2014.909792
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Keywords: Bayesian hierarchical models; ordinal logistic regression; Eurovision song contest;
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1403950
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