Travail de recherche/Working paper
Résumé : Expert judgments may increase or decrease consumer welfare depending on experts’ ability to redirect consumers toward goods they enjoy. Leveraging the discontinuity created by the attribution of the Booker Prize, a leading literary award, we confirm that the prize attracts readers to consumption. We then investigate how it affects consumer surplus. We measure consumer ex post satisfaction from reading a book by the sentiment and the rating of the reviews posted on Amazon. We show that the Booker reduces satisfaction and that this negative effect is driven by a misalignment between the tastes of the jury and those of consumers. We quantify the associated loss in welfare by calibrating a structural model of demand. We find that the prize reduces consumer surplus by USD135,000 annually, meaning that a consumer buying a Booker Prize-winning book experiences a loss in surplus of 4% of the average price of a book.