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Identifying the Effect of Unobserved Quality and Experts' Reviews in the Pricing of Experience Goods: Empirical Application on Bordeaux Wine

  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Nauges, Céline

We propose a structural empirical approach à la Levinsohn and Petrin (2003) to disentangle the effect of experts’ grades from the effect of unobserved quality on the pricing of experience goods. Using a panel data set of 108 châteaux selling wine on the Bordeaux ‘en primeur’ market, we provide some empirical validation for the theoretical result that the price set by wine producers is used as a signal for wine quality. We confirm that experts’ grades affect producers’ choice of ‘en primeur’ price above the effect of unobserved wine quality. Our empirical results also show that failing to control for endogeneity caused by the omission of unobserved leads to over-estimate the influence of experts’ grades on the ‘en primeur’ price.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 395.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol.�28, n°3, mai 2010, p.�205-212.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:4835
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  1. Héla Hadj Ali & Sébastien Lecocq & Michael Visser, 2005. "The impact of gurus : Parker grades and en primeur wine prices," Research Unit Working Papers 0507, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
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  8. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  9. Darolles, Serge & Fan, Yanqin & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Renault, Eric, 2003. "Non Parametric Instrumental Regression," IDEI Working Papers 228, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2010.
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  16. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1997. "The Use of Quality and Reputation Indicators by Consumers: The Case of Bordeaux Wine," MPRA Paper 9283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  18. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
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  22. 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.
  23. Mahenc, Philippe & Meunier, Valerie, 2003. " Forward Markets and Signals of Quality," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 478-94, Autumn.
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