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Do Top 100 wine lists provide consumers with better information?

Jean-Marie Cardebat (), Paola Corsinovi () and Davide Gaeta ()
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Paola Corsinovi: Hochschule Geisenheim University, Center of Economics
Davide Gaeta: Department of Business Administration, University of Verona

Economics Bulletin, 2018, vol. 38, issue 2, 983-994

Abstract: This paper shows that the Wine Spectator Top 100 list mixes objective and subjective information while resembling a bargain wines list, in which the ranking is better when the price (score) is lower (higher). Indeed, there is a weak but positive and significant correlation between the WS ranking and the hedonic bargain wines rank calculated in this analysis. However, significant geographic bias, wineries bias, and the large part of unexplained variance of the WS ranking reveal that some subjective information also determines the WS Top 100 ranking. This blend of objective and subjective determinants, added to the formal aspect of the list, hierarchized from 1 to 100, might mislead the consumer into considering this ranking as a “best (top 100) bargain wine list†. Therefore, this impossibility to disentangle objective from subjective information could be seen as a source of inefficiency on the wine market. Splitting the WS Top 100 list into a hedonic bargain wine list (based on objective components) and a non-hierarchized “crush†wine list could be a solution for reinforcing the quality of the information on the wine market.

Keywords: Countries of Origin; Hedonic Bargain; Consumers; Information; Prices; Quality; Journalists; Top 100 list; Wine; Wine Appellations; Wine Critics; Wine Market; Wine Spectator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D1 M3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-05-12
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