AAWE, Economics Dept, New York University, 19 W 4th St, 6Fl., New York NY 10012aawe@wine-economics.org

Author archive: Karl Storchmann

AAWE Working Paper No. 208 – History and Politics

There is much debate on the impact of product and process standards on trade. The conceptual arguments are complex and empirical evidence is mixed. We analyze the impact of standards and tariffs on the dramatic rise and fall of the raisin trade between France and Greece in the course of 25 years at the end of the 19th century. The case illustrates how product standards can be used to address consumer concerns and to protect producer interests. Economic conditions and French policies first stimulated Greek raisin imports. Later, changing conditions and political pressures led to the introduction of tariffs and wine standards which caused major declines in Greek exports and ultimately the bankruptcy of the Greek economy. Interestingly, this trade episode of more than a century ago still has a regulatory legacy today as it is the origin of the EU’s definition of wine.

AAWE Working Paper No. 208 – History and Politics

AAWE Working Paper No. 207 – History and Politics

While one cannot speak of sustained French immigration to the American colonies, some notable examples can be cited. The Labadists were mystics who lived communally on their 4,000 acre Maryland farm. There were the French settlers of Gallipolis in Ohio who, it appears, produced a wine so poor in quality it was named méchant Suresne after a wine known for its sourness produced near Paris. The arrival of French Huguenots in South Carolina is of particular interest because, for the first time, a large group of settlers reached the New World with the primary aim of growing grapes. They had left France for England to escape religious persecution and in 1763 petitioned the British Government to provide them with land in South Carolina so that they could “apply themselves to the cultivation of vines and of silk.” The request was approved. Setting sail a year latter, the Huguenots reached South Carolina founding the township of New Bordeaux in the southern part of the colony. They were joined four years later by another group of co-religionists lead by the forceful Louis de Mesville de Saint Pierre. But now came a setback. The colony’s governing body refused to provide the settlers with the funds needed to purchase vine cuttings. Saint Pierre thereupon decided to return to England and appeal for financial aide to Lord Hillsborough secretary for the American Colonies, but to no avail.

AAWE Working Paper No. 207 – History and Politics

AAWE Working Paper No. 206 – History and Politics

The 1860–1970 period is a particularly interesting period to study wine trade because of dramatic changes in the wine markets and trade over the course of a century. The dramatic changes in trade flows were caused by both “nature” and “men”. Mediterranean wine trade represented around 90% of global wine trade and France was the world’s leading exporter. The arrival of Phylloxera devastated French vineyards and stimulated Spanish and Italian wine exports. When French wine production recovered, French winegrowers pressured their government to intervene, resulting in high tariffs on Spanish and Italian wines and Greek raisins. The protectionist trade regime contributed to the bankruptcy of Greece and to the substitution of wine trade from Spain and Italy to France’s North African colonies. When Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia became independent, France imposed high wine tariffs, effectively killing their wine exports. The decline of the wine industry in North Africa coincided with the trade and policy integration of the South European wine exporters in the EEC—the predecessor of the EU.

AAWE Working Paper No. 206 – History and Politics

AAWE Working Paper No. 205 – Business

This study examines features of regional clusters and environmental sustainability among member firms. By studying a sample of 646 firms across four regional wine clusters in Australia, the evidence suggests regiona l export intens it y is positive ly associat ed wit h implementation rates of environmentally sustainable practices. Further, as women in leadership roles (as a proxy for social proximity) grow within regional clusters, this strengthens the relationship between export intensity and environmental sustainability. The results advance research on the features of regional clusters that are expected to influence the adoption of organiza tio na l practices among member firms. Conclusio ns are presented along with limitations and future research opportunities.

AAWE Working Paper No. 205 – Business

AAWE Working Paper No. 204 – Economics

Everything you know about wine is right — for now. But by mid-century, it will be wrong, and here’s why. Climate change, shifting global demand, consumer preferences, new vinification techniques, and marketing will transform the industry and upend conventional wisdom. This transformation has profound implications for the environmental footprint of the industry and conservation, both in traditional wine regions and in emerging wine-producing areas.
Things that would ring true to a well-informed wine consumer right now might include: Most wine is produced in Mediterranean climates;
European wine regions are a successful marketing tool;
China isn’t a big consumer of European-style wine;
Extensive chemical manipulation during vinification is not common in fine wines.
By 2050, each of these statements will be wrong, and the stakes couldn’t be higher – for wine, for the environment, and for the environmental footprint of wine production. Let’s look at each of these themes in turn.

AAWE Working Paper No. 204 – Economics

AAWE Working Paper No. 203 – Economics

The objective of the paper is to investigate how the market structure of grape varieties affects the performance in the wine industry. We examine the export performance of countries in 2000 and 2010 and analyze the market structure hypothesis applied to grape varieties and the technical efficiency of the market structure of grapes on exports performance using a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology. Our results are based on a sample of 20 major wine exporting countries. First, only a few countries are efficient. Second, a small number of prime varieties is not a condition to obtain efficiency. Finally, concentration of top varieties is not sufficient to be efficient.

AAWE Working Paper No. 203 – Economics

AAWE Working Paper No. 202 – Economics

This paper identifies the macroeconomic determinants of fine wine prices and estimates their impacts on a monthly database from 1996 to 2015. The fine wine demand from emerging markets plays a key role in fine wine pricing, and more precisely, on the fluctuation of Bordeaux fine wine prices. Furthermore, the continuous weakening of the U.S. Dollar in real term favors the fine wine prices to increase. Since 2011, the slowdown of economic growth in emerging markets, followed by the depreciation of national currencies has engendered negative effects on the fine wine market. Along with the process of financialization in the fine wine market, fine wine prices have become more volatile. Factors such as money supply, real interest rate and the growth of investment funds start to show their influence on fine wine pricing.

AAWE Working Paper No. 202 – Economics

AAWE Working Paper No. 201 – Business

This study investigates the impact of working capital management (WCM) on firm profitability in the French wine industry. Based on annual data of 430 wine-producing firms from 2003 to 2014, we estimated the impact of the cash conversion cycle (CCC) and its components (days inventory, receivable and payable) on the return on assets. Other firm factors, such as size, growth, tangibility and leverage, were used for control. We took into account nonlinearity, unobservable heterogeneity, heteroscedasticity and endogeneity through the two-step GMM estimation method and showed that WCM did not have a significant impact on the profitability of French wine firms. Furthermore, we found no optimal level of CCC that would allow the firms to maximize their profitability. Only days account receivable and payable significantly and negatively impacted profitability. These results differ from those of previous studies and suggest that French wine firms should shorten the time both to collect cash from sales and pay providers. Contrarily to what we believe, the delay in converting inventories to cash does not significantly impact profitability. The managerial implications of these results were further explored by interviewing three wine firms in the south of France.

AAWE Working Paper No. 201 – Business

AAWE Working Paper No. 200 – Economics

Product differentiation, competitive advantage and increased sales could be achieved by wineries through the adoption of environmentally focused practices (Nowak and Washburn, 2002). However, a competitive advantage can only be gained in the marketplace if firms are able to communicate to consumers’ about their environmental focus (Bisson et al., 2002). Environmentally sustainable products are credence goods; consumers cannot ascertain their environmental qualities during purchase or use (Crespi and Marett, 2005). Consumers are not present during the production process of the product and therefore cannot assess environmental friendliness of production. Therefore, extrinsic cues such as packaging has an important function of eco-labeling, being used to reduce information asymmetry between the producer of sustainable products and consumers by providing credible information related to the environmental credentials of the product (Leire and Thidell, 2005). Eco-label logos and claims are the most used extrinsic attributes to signal the environmental attributes of wines to consumers. While organic and biodynamic are the most successful eco-claim at this stage, it is by no means the only sustainable claim. Environmental responsible, made with sustainable practices, 100% eco-friendly, carbon neutral, greener planet are other environmental sustainable claims that can be found on wine bottle labels (Zucca et al., 2009). Because the eco- label/claims are the first line of communication to entice the consumer, it seems therefore extremely important that other extrinsic packaging attributes can also meet the “information” that environmental friendly claims try to convey.

An important attribute of wine packaging is type of closure that by its sealing properties can directly influence the intrinsic attributes of wines. Moreover, closures are also an important extrinsic packaging attribute. Various types of closures such as cork stoppers, screw caps and synthetic closures can be considered by consumers to be a direct reflection of the wine quality and in some extent influence their purchase decision. (Chaney, 2000; Reidick, 2003; Toubia et al., 2005; Barber and Almanza, 2006; Barber et al., 2008; Marin et al., 2007a; Barber et al., 2009b). Although ample research has been conducted on the importance of wine bottle closures in quality perception and purchase decisions of consumers in different countries, however, little is known about how type of closure affects consumer expectations, price and willingness to purchase eco-labeled wines.

AAWE Working Paper No. 200 – Economics

AAWE Working Paper No. 199 – Business

The purpose of this paper was to investigate perceptions and current experiences with kegged wine (also known as wine-on-tap). Winery owners, winemakers, and other winery employees from various U.S. wine growing regions responded to an online survey.
Some wineries produce kegged wine on their own, while others use third-party kegging facilities. Eco-friendliness and wine quality preservation were considered important, yet not identified as primary motivators. Increasing sales volume and competitive advantages, on the other hand, were driving the adoption of kegged wine.

On average, the estimated sales price for a keg (5.16 Gallons) of white wine was US$ 174 and for a red wine keg US$225. Kegged wine accounted for almost 9% of the wineries’ annual production volume. Most wineries used the same brand for their kegged wine as for their bottled wine.

The findings of this study provide initial insights into experiences, reasons, and perceptions related to the adoption of a recent wine packaging innovation: kegged wine. The sample was mostly comprised of California wineries, a market where distances between wineries and third party kegging specialists are relatively short; therefore, the generalization of the results may be restricted.

AAWE Working Paper No. 199 – Business

Menu