French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce?

32 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2007 Last revised: 3 Oct 2007

See all articles by Orley Ashenfelter

Orley Ashenfelter

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stephen M. Ciccarella

Cornell University - Department of Economics; Public Policy Institute of California

Howard J. Shatz

RAND Corporation

Date Written: July 2007

Abstract

In early 2003, France actively tried to thwart the plans of the Bush administration to build international support for a war to depose Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. In response, calls in the United States for a boycott of French products, wine in particular, rebounded through all forms of media. In the spring of 2003, French business people even reported that the boycott calls were hurting their U.S. sales. Using a dataset of sales of nearly 4,700 individual wine brands, we show that there actually was no boycott effect. Rather, sales of French wine dipped for two reasons. First, they experience a cyclical peak at holiday time, from November through early January, and the boycott was called during the February to May period. Second, sales of French wine have been in a secular decline in the United States. Sales in February through May 2003 merely stayed on trend. We contrast our results with other recent work that has found evidence of a boycott effect but that omits the holiday effect from several specifications. French wine producers may be having economic problems, but it is not because of their government's foreign policy.

Suggested Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley C. and Ciccarella, Stephen M. and Shatz, Howard J., French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce? (July 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13258. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000360

Orley C. Ashenfelter (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4040 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Stephen M. Ciccarella

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States

Public Policy Institute of California ( email )

500 Washington Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

Howard J. Shatz

RAND Corporation

Arlington, VA 22202-5050
United States
(703) 413-1100 (Phone)
(703) 413-8111 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rand.org

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
36
Abstract Views
864
PlumX Metrics