The impact of gurus: Parker grades and en primeur wine prices¤
The purpose of this paper is to measure the impact of Robert Parker's oenological grades on Bordeaux wine prices. We study their impact on the so-called en primeur wine prices, i.e., the prices determined by the château owners when the wines are still extremely young. The Parker grades are usually published in the spring of each year, before the wine prices are established. However, the wine grades attributed in 2003 have been published much later, in the autumn, after the determination of the prices. This unusual reversal is exploited to estimate a Parker effect. We find that, on average, the effect is equal to 2.80 euros per bottle of wine. We also estimate grade-specific effects, and use these estimates to predict what the prices would have been had Parker attended the spring tasting in 2003. (JEL Classification: C21, D89, L15).
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