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Understanding how experts rate cigars: a ‘havanometric’ analysis


  • Nicolas Gérard Vaillant
  • François-Charles Wolff


Drawing on data from an annual French guidebook published in 2004, this article focuses on the determinants of experts’ ratings on Cuban cigars. We find that high quality cigars are more likely to be recommended to more experienced cigar lovers. Both the self-assessed quality and recommendation depend on the length and diameter of the cigars, but also on more subjective characteristics like number and type of aromas. Results from a Fields’ decomposition show that the quality of cigars is much more sensitive to the presence of a defect and number of aromas than the experts’ recommendation, which is more influenced by the rarity of cigars. Finally, it is essentially the cigars’ objective characteristics that have an influence on their prices, meaning that consumers truly benefit from additional qualitative information when reading experts’ advice and ratings.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Gérard Vaillant & François-Charles Wolff, 2013. "Understanding how experts rate cigars: a ‘havanometric’ analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 99-109, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:1:p:99-109
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.595691

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ali, Héla Hadj & Lecocq, Sébastien & Visser, Michael, 2010. "The Impact of Gurus: Parker Grades and en primeur Wine Prices," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 22-39, March.
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