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  1. #1

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    Academic article: "Does [CoP Judging] Transparency Reduce Favoritism & Corruption?"

    The Ideas section in the Boston Globe (under the headline of "Figure skating: more corrupt than ever?") cited a new article in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Sports Economics by Eric Zitzewitz titled "Does Transparency Reduce Favoritism and Corruption? Evidence From the Reform of Figure Skating Judging"
    Abstract

    Transparency is usually thought to reduce favoritism and corruption by facilitating monitoring by outsiders, but there is concern it can have the perverse effect of facilitating collusion by insiders. In response to vote trading scandals in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, the International Skating Union (ISU) introduced a number of changes to its judging system, including obscuring which judge issued which mark. The stated intent was to disrupt collusion by groups of judges, but this change also frustrates most attempts by outsiders to monitor judge behavior. The author finds that the “compatriot-judge effect,” which aggregates favoritism (nationalistic bias from own-country judges) and corruption (vote trading), actually increased slightly after the reforms.
    Excerpt from the Boston Globe article:
    A new study from a professor of economics at Dartmouth, however, suggests this has all been for naught or, even worse, for show. He finds that, if anything, a competitor with a compatriot on the judging panel can now expect even more nationalistic bias and vote trading. And he thinks the ISU may be part of the problem: “Some of the actions of the ISU after the 2002 judging scandal can only be rationalized as attempts to reduce the perception of corruption by limiting outside monitoring.”
    If anyone is able to read the entire article, I would be interested to hear a summary of the evidence.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 05-21-2012 at 04:49 AM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #2
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    I found this PDF and wondered because of the date if it had been posted before.

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ericz/transparency.pdf

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    Conclusion:
    The size of the total effect of a having compatriot judge (including both nationalistic bias and vote trading) is what is most relevant for the fairness of the competition. Fortunately, judge anonymity does not prevent me from estimating this
    combined effect—it merely prevents me from decomposing it into nationalism and
    vote trading. When I compare the total compatriot-judge effect before and after
    judges’ scores were anonymized immediately after the 2002 scandal, I find it
    increased by about 20% (although this increase was not statistically significant).
    About a year after the scandal, the ISU introduced a new, more complicated scoring
    system. The new system significantly reduced the role of judges’ subjective scores
    and also, by virtue of its complexity, made the role of individual judges less salient,
    which can arguably be considered a further reduction in transparency. Despite the
    fact that the lower weight given subjective scores should have decreased incentives
    for bias, the compatriot-judge bias again increased slightly. Taken together, the
    results suggest little evidence that reducing transparency achieved its goal of reducing favoritism and corruption. If anything, the judging reforms were followed by
    modest increases in bias.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post
    I found this PDF and wondered because of the date if it had been posted before.

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ericz/transparency.pdf
    It doesn't appear in the June 2012 issue.

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    I found the abstract here: http://jse.sagepub.com/content/early/recent

    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    It doesn't appear in the June 2012 issue.
    Does the online version say in which forthcoming issue this article will appear? Thanks for quoting the conclusion.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  6. #6
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    The article was made available online on May 2, 2012 to those with access to the journal's OnlineFirst service.
    Journal of Sports Economics offers OnlineFirst, by which forthcoming articles are published online before they are scheduled to appear in print.
    The article appears to be waiting to be assigned to an issue of the journal. No date is given that I can find.

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    Maybe he updated it from the version available by Dartmouth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post
    Maybe he updated it from the version available by Dartmouth.
    From a brief skim, I couldn't see any updates.

    It isn't unusual for articles to take a couple years or more to be published in an academic journal. So this one may just be in the hopper awaiting a future publication date.

    It is unusual, however, to have the same article published elsewhere prior to it appearing in a peer-reviewed journal (I assume this journal is peer-reviewed). Generally prior publication is a disqualifier for academic journals.

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    I found another related (unpublished) article to this one available online:

    Statistical Sleuthing by Leveraging Human Nature: A Study of Olympic Figure Skating, John W. Emerson and Taylor B. Arnold
    http://www.stat.yale.edu/~jay/unpubl...kating2011.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    It is unusual, however, to have the same article published elsewhere prior to it appearing in a peer-reviewed journal (I assume this journal is peer-reviewed). Generally prior publication is a disqualifier for academic journals.
    Not if it's just a working paper someone has up on their personal/university website. There's also a working paper version of it here.

    The articles in the current issue of JSE were available online about a year ago, so that's the time frame - but really the only difference is that the published version will have a volume and issue as well as page numbers. I have access to the formatted article through my university's subscription, but I haven't checked to see what's changed from the Dartmouth version, which might have undergone some revisions before being accepted (although it's not a very highly ranked journal, so maybe not).

    While I was Googling it, this came up...
    Last edited by Zemgirl; 05-21-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Not if it's just a working paper someone has up on their personal/university website. There's also a working paper version of it here.

    The articles in the current issue of JSE were available online about a year ago, so that's the time frame - but really the only difference is that the published version will have a volume and issue as well as page numbers. I have access to the formatted article through my university's subscription, but I haven't checked to see what's changed from the Dartmouth version, which might have undergone some revisions before being accepted (although it's not a very highly ranked journal, so maybe not).

    While I was Googling it, this came up...
    It is interesting how the corridor vanished for Plushenko! It was based on things he said and then spread by one of the most influential people in judging and would lead to the corridor being abandoned basically for Plushenko only. It was in effect for like all the other skaters but his big mouth ruined the corridor for him!! Going from 5's to 9's! One of the reason why it is always smart to talk like Lysacek.

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