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Understanding how experts rate cigars: a ‘havanometric’ analysis

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Drawing on data from an annual French guidebook published in 2004, this article focuses on the determinants of experts’ ratings on Cuban cigars. We find that high quality cigars are more likely to be recommended to more experienced cigar lovers. Both the self-assessed quality and recommendation depend on the length and diameter of the cigars, but also on more subjective characteristics like number and type of aromas. Results from a Fields’ decomposition show that the quality of cigars is much more sensitive to the presence of a defect and number of aromas than the experts’ recommendation, which is more influenced by the rarity of cigars. Finally, it is essentially the cigars’ objective characteristics that have an influence on their prices, meaning that consumers truly benefit from additional qualitative information when reading experts’ advice and ratings.

Keywords: L15; L66; Z1; cigars; expert opinion; quality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: LEM (UMR 8179 CNRS) and the Université Ćatholique de Lille (FLSEG – Centre de Recherche sur le Capital Humain), 60 bd Vauban, BP109, 59016 Lille Cedex, France 2: LEMNA, Université de Nantes, BP52231 Chemin de la Censive du Tertre, 44322 Nantes Cedex

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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