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Fascinating. Does it also hold for Golden Globes?

Q dub

Calling it the halo effect implies that it is the act of judging which is colored by cross-category success, but I think the biggest underlying cause is simply that top talent works together!

Nikhil Verma

Good one ! that's one way to look at things


excellent analysis!

Michael E Driscoll

Anand - Indeed the halo effect may be operating at several levels, and compounding at each. As you write "Perhaps great talent attracts other great talent" -- e.g. the Matthew effect is at work in movie-making, in addition to award-giving.

We all know a good wine tastes far better when paired with a great meal -- movies are no different.



Mr A.R. Rahman Won! Another data point to support the analysis. However, he is a genius and truly deserves it. I am so excited and proud :)


two oscars for rehman tonight. As the world recognizes a humble genius ..

Anand the academy is a panel of members and withing each of their heads they make which one is a better movie than the other and might prefer to vote for all the nominations of that particular film over choosing for each category.


Rumor has it that Subhash Ghai rejected Jai Ho, originally meant for the movie Yuvraj. The song that was on the B-sides of a B-movie turns out to be the best original song at the Oscars. Surely smells like Mathew?


awesome analysis !



Great stuff. But I was wondering if you could share the Oscar list? I am a movie buff and curious to see how many of those movies I have seen.

Is it possible to email me (raonikhilesh (at) gmail )or upload it your blog.


anand r

I typed up a longish comment. Then I decided I should just blog my comment: http://justlanded.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/oscars-and-the-matthew-effect/


Interesting point is that unlike milk and eggs example, the awards are voted on by independent groups of people (I hope!) with the results a secret.
It is true, though, that the nominations were public and that could've led to a bias even among disparate groups.


RightHalf: That's an interesting piece of information, if true -- was Jai Ho really a Subhash Ghai reject? Is there some evidence of this?

Nik: Always happy to share data. Please email me (see About page for email address).

Anand R: Nice post! My favorite line: "You have to find the right combination of Hollywood liberal guilt, Hollywood elitist condescension, and Hollywood self-preening and then make it work in your movie’s favor. If all of those are pointing in your direction, you win."

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