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Paintings and Numbers: An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions

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  • Barbosa, Renata Leite
  • Campos, Nauro F

Abstract

This paper uses a unique data set of Latin American paintings auctioned by Sotheby's between 1995 and 2002 to investigate several puzzles from the recent auctions literature. Our results suggest that: (1) the reputation of an artist and the provenance of the artwork, omitted variables in most previous studies, seem to be more important determinants of the sale price of a painting than standard factors, such as medium and size, (2) the opinion of art experts seems to be of limited use in predicting whether or not an artwork sells at auction, (3) there is little supporting evidence for the widespread notion that the best or more expensive artworks tend to generate above average returns (the "masterpiece effect"), although (4) there is strong evidence in our data for the declining price anomaly, or "afternoon effect."

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6806.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6806

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Keywords: art auctions; declining price anomaly; Latin American art; masterpiece effect;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Esmeralda Ramalho & Joquim Ramalho, 2014. "Convenient links for the estimation of hedonic price indexes:the case of unique, infrequently traded assets," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2014_01, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  2. Ventura Charlin & Arturo Cifuentes, 2013. "A new financial metric for the art market," Papers 1309.6929, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2013.
  3. Marinelli, Nicoletta & Palomba, Giulio, 2011. "A model for pricing Italian Contemporary Art paintings at auction," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 212-224, May.
  4. Emrah Çevik & Erdal Atukeren & Turhan Korkmaz, 2013. "Nonlinearity and nonstationarity in international art market prices: evidence from Markov-switching ADF unit root tests," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 675-695, October.

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