The impact of information on wine auction prices: results of an experiment
This paper reports the results of an experimental wine auction. Participants of the experiment were randomly assigned to three rooms. In each room four wines had to be evaluated, but the level of information to which participants had access differed across rooms. After the evaluations, the wines were sold sequentially, by four separate Vickrey auctions with secret reservation prices. We find that certain socio-economic characteristics such as gender, income and consumption habits, have a significant impact on the willingness to pay for wine, while others such as age and nationality, do not. We also find that once individuals have read the label characteristics and extracts from wine guides, the taste of the wines does not have an additional impact on willingness to pay. Conversely, if individuals who have only tasted the wines blindly are informed about the wine characteristics and opinions from experts, their willingness to pay increases substantially.
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