Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions
AbstractThe failure of many paintings to sell in art auctions indicates the presence of reserve prices set by sellers. This paper examines the relationship between sale rates and price surprises over time in art auctions. Using data on contemporary and impressionist art, we show that while sale rates appear to have little relationship to current prices, there exists a strong positive relationship of sale rates to unexpected aggregate price changes, which is reminiscent of a Phillips curve. As a result, sale rates provide a useful quantity indicator of the strength of the art market. The data also indicate that sale rates revert to “normal” very quickly following a price surprise. We estimate an empirical model to measure normal sale rates. We also find evidence that the reserve price is set on average at about 70% of the auctioneer’s low estimate, as published in the auction catalog.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16743.
Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Other versions of this item:
- Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," Working Papers 23, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
- Ashenfelter, Orley C & Graddy, Kathryn, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," Working Papers 1294, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
- L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
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