Do experts and laypersons differ? Some evidence from international classical music competitions

Roberto Carlos Asmat Belleza, Karol Jan Borowiecki, Marc Law

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Do experts and laypersons differ in their judgments of quality? We investigate this question in the context of classical music performance, taking advantage of the fact that in many international music competitions, lay audiences as well as expert juries award prizes. Using novel data on 370 competition-editions held between 1979 and 2021, we find that jury and audience preferences match only 38% of the time. We then explore gender bias and host country bias as possible explanations for the divergence between jury and audience judgments by comparing first prizewinners and audience prizewinners with other finalists. Additionally, we use the fact that many musicians compete repeatedly to examine the predictive value of prizewinning on success in future competitions. We find that being female and being from the competition host country are negatively correlated with the likelihood of being the jury's top choice but have no relationship with the likelihood of winning an audience prize. Additionally, winning an audience prize predicts winning future competitions but being ranked first by the jury does not. Importantly, our findings extend the literature on the value of expert opinion to a new setting, using an explicitly non-expert counterfactual.
Seiten (von - bis)270-290
FachzeitschriftJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Frühes Online-DatumAug. 2023
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Okt. 2023