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Experts’ Awards And Economic Success: Evidence From An Italian Literary Prize

Listed author(s):
  • Michela Ponzo

    ()

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Statistiche e Finanziarie, Università della Calabria)

Product quality is often unobservable ex-ante and consumers rely on experts’ judgments, sometimes coming under the form of ratings or awards. Do awards affect consumers’ choices or they are conferred to the most popular products? To disentangle this issue, we use data of the most important Italian Literary Prize, the “Strega Prize”, undertaking two different estimation strategies to evaluate the impact on book sales of being awarded the Prize. First, we adopt a Regression Discontinuity Design using as dependent variable a measure of book sales and as forcing variable (proxying for intrinsic book quality) the jury votes received by each nominated book in the competition. We find a very strong impact of the Strega Prize on sales. Second, using weekly data on appearances in bestseller lists, we estimate a difference-in-differences model, comparing sales performance of treated and control books before the award is conferred with their respective performance afterwards. The results confirm a huge influence of the Prize on book sales and show that most of the impact occurs in the weeks following the announcement.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP06_2013.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013-05
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Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF in its series Working Papers with number 201306.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201306
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania", Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy

Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/

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  1. Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Rafert, Greg & Hilger, JAmes, 2011. "Expert Opinion and the Demand for Experience Goods: An Experimental Approach," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0h43433x, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  3. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  4. 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.
  5. David A. Reinstein & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "THE INFLUENCE OF EXPERT REVIEWS ON CONSUMER DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCE GOODS: A CASE STUDY OF MOVIE CRITICS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-51, 03.
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  7. Victor A. Ginsburgh & Jan C. van Ours, 2003. "Expert Opinion and Compensation: Evidence from a Musical Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 289-296, March.
  8. Nelson, Randy A, et al, 2001. "What's an Oscar Worth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 1-16, January.
  9. Caroline Elliott & Rob Simmons, 2008. "Determinants of UK Box Office Success: The Impact of Quality Signals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(2), pages 93-111, September.
  10. Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2015. "Experts’ awards and economic success: evidence from an Italian literary prize," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(4), pages 341-367, November.
  11. James Hilger & Greg Rafert & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2011. "Expert Opinion and the Demand for Experience Goods: An Experimental Approach in the Retail Wine Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1289-1296, November.
  12. Jonah Berger & Alan T. Sorensen & Scott J. Rasmussen, 2010. "Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 815-827, 09-10.
  13. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
  14. Victor Ginsburgh, 2003. "Awards, Success and Aesthetic Quality in the Arts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 99-111, Spring.
  15. Richard Friberg & Erik Grönqvist, 2012. "Do Expert Reviews Affect the Demand for Wine?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-211, January.
  16. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
  17. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
  18. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
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