Is It Advantageous to Be First? Evidence from a TV Comedy Program

33 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2023

See all articles by Real Arai

Real Arai

Ryukoku University

Ryosuke Okazawa

Osaka Metropolitan University

Date Written: September 21, 2023


Using unique data from contests in a Japanese comedy TV show, we estimate the impact of position order on performance evaluations. By exploiting the fact that positions in the contest are randomly determined by lottery, we estimate the causal effect of order and find that the first position is favorable in the contest. One interpretation of these results is that the first performance is less likely to receive an extreme evaluation, which may be advantageous in less competitive contests where there are too many winners relative to the number of participants. We present evidence that is consistent with this interpretation.

Keywords: sequential decision-making, position order effect, calibration effect

JEL Classification: D91, Z11

Suggested Citation

Arai, Real and Okazawa, Ryosuke, Is It Advantageous to Be First? Evidence from a TV Comedy Program (September 21, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Real Arai

Ryukoku University

67 Tsukamoto-cho, Fukakusa
Kyoto, Kyoto 612-857

Ryosuke Okazawa (Contact Author)

Osaka Metropolitan University ( email )

3-3-138 Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi Ward
Osaka, Osaka 558-8585

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics