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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, P.
  • Nauges, C.

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 quality leads to over-estimate the influence of experts" grades on the "primeur" price. ...French Abstract : Lorsqu'un bien d'expérience est délivré sur le marché, l'opinion des experts est supposée donner de l'information sur la qualité du bien aux futurs consommateurs. Cependant, savoir si l'opinion des experts affecte la formation des prix par elle-même reste une question empirique difficile à répondre. En effet, la vraie qualité inobservée du bien rend l'opinion des experts nécessairement endogène dans une équation de prix hédonique pour des biens d'expérience. En utilisant un panel de données sur les vins de Bordeaux, les auteurs proposent une approche structurelle permettant de séparer la valeur de l'information sur la qualité donnée par les experts de l'effet de la vraie qualité.

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Paper provided by French Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), Economics Laboratory in Toulouse (ESR Toulouse) in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (Toulouse) with number 200607.

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Length: 34 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rea:inrawp:200607
Contact details of provider: Postal: INRA ESR - BP27 - 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France
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Web page: http://www.toulouse.inra.fr/esr
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  1. Mahenc, Philippe & Meunier, Valérie, 2006. "Early Sales of Bordeaux grands crus," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 57-74, March.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh, 2003. "Awards, success and aesthetic quality in the arts," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1679, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Héla Hadj Ali & Céline Nauges, 2007. "The Pricing of Experience Goods: The Example of en primeur Wine," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 91-103.
  4. Ali-Kein, Hela Hadj & Lecocq, Sebastien & Visser, Michael, 2007. "The Impact of Gurus: Parker Grades and EN PRIMEUR Wine Prices," Working Papers 37292, American Association of Wine Economists.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  8. Caves, Richard E. & Greene, David P., 1996. "Brands' quality levels, prices, and advertising outlays: empirical evidence on signals and information costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 29-52.
  9. 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.
  10. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  11. Whitney K. Newey & James L. Powell, 2003. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of Nonparametric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1565-1578, 09.
  12. Orley Ashenfelter, 2008. "Predicting the Quality and Prices of Bordeaux Wine," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages F174-F184, 06.
  13. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  14. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  15. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  16. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1998. "Quality expectations, reputation, and price," MPRA Paper 9774, 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. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Philippe Mahenc, 2004. "Influence of Informed Buyers in Markets Susceptible to the Lemons Problem," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 649-659.
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