Wine prices and quality ratings: A meta-regression analysis

Edward Oczkowski, Hristos Doucouliagos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines the empirical support for the hypothesized hedonic theoretical relation between the price of wine and its quality. The examination considers over 180 hedonic wine price models developed over 20 years, covering many countries. The research identifies that the relation between the price of wine and its sensory quality rating is a moderate partial correlation of +0.30. This correlation exists despite the lack of information held by consumers about a wine's quality and the inconsistency of expert tasters when evaluating wines. The results identify a moderate price-quality correlation, which suggests the existence of strategic buying opportunities for better informed consumers. Strategic price setting possibilities may also exist for wine producers given the incomplete quality information held by consumers. The results from the meta-regression analysis point to the absence of any publication bias, and attribute the observed asymmetry in estimates to study heterogeneity. The analysis suggests the observed heterogeneity is explained by the importance of a wine's reputation, the use of the 100-point quality rating scale, the analysis of a single wine variety/style, and the employed functional form. The most important implication from the analysis is the relative importance of a wine's reputation over its sensory quality, inferring that producers need to sustain the sensory quality of a wine over time to extract appropriate returns. The reputation of the wine producer is found not to influence the strength of the price-quality relationship. This finding does not contradict the importance of wine producer reputation in directly influencing prices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Volume97
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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