Expert Judgment Versus Public Opinion – Evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest
For centuries, there have been discussions as to whether only experts can judge the quality of cultural output, or whether the taste of the public also has merit. This paper tries to answer that question empirically, using national finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. We show that experts are better judges of quality in the sense that the outcome of finals judged by experts is less sensitive to factors unrelated to quality than the outcome of finals judged by public opinion. Yet, experts are not perfect; their judgment does still depend on such factors. This is also the case in the European finals of the contest.