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Does Organic Wine Taste Better? An Analysis of Experts' Ratings*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2016

Magali A. Delmas
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Anderson School of Management, La Kretz Hall, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496; e-mail: delmas@ucla.edu.
Olivier Gergaud
Affiliation:
KEDGE Business School (Bordeaux campus), 680 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, France; e-mail: olivier.gergaud@kedgebs.com.
Jinghui Lim
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, La Kretz Hall, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496; e-mail: jinghuilim@ucla.edu.

Abstract

Ecolabels are part of a new wave of environmental policy that emphasizes information disclosure as a tool to induce environmentally friendly behavior by both firms and consumers. Little consensus exists as to whether ecocertified products are actually better than their conventional counterparts. This study seeks to understand the link between ecocertification and product quality. We use data from three leading wine-rating publications (the Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine Spectator) to assess quality for 74,148 wines produced in California between 1998 and 2009. Our results indicate that ecocertification is associated with a statistically significant increase in wine quality rating. Being ecocertified increases the scaled score of the wine by 4.1 points on average. (JEL Classifications: L15, L66, Q13, Q21, Q56)

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Association of Wine Economists 2016 

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Footnotes

*

This research was conducted with the following undergraduate students at University of California, Los Angeles: Hayley Moller, Geoff Wright, Danny Suits, Jon Gim, John Lee, and David Wolk. We thank them for their essential input. We also thank an anonymous referee for valuable feedback.

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