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 that suggests that the reserve price is set on average at about 70% of the auctioneer’s low estimate as published in the auction catalog.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1294.
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
art; auctions; reserve prices; sale rates;
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.
- Orley C. Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," NBER Working Papers 16743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ashenfelter, Orley C & Graddy, Kathryn, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kathryn Graddy & Orley Ashenfelter, 2002.
"Auctions and the Price of Art,"
Economics Series Working Papers
131, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Madeleine de la Barre & Sophie Docclo & Victor Ginsburgh, 1994. "Returns of impressionist, modern and contemporary European painters, 1962-1991," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1723, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-89, December.
- Baumol, William J, 1986. "Unnatural Value: Or Art Investment as Floating Crap Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 10-14, May.
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
- Madeleine DE LA BARRE & Sophie DOCCLO & Victor GINSBURGH, 1994. "Returns of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary European Paintings 1962-1991," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 35, pages 143-181.
- Clare McAndrew & James L Smith & Rex Thompson, 2012. "The impact of reserve prices on the perceived bias of expert appraisals of fine art," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 235-252, 03.
- repec:pri:cepsud:1212 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2002. "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1656-1668, December.
- Mortensen, Dale T, 1970. "Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 847-62, December.
- Goetzmann, William N, 1993. "Accounting for Taste: Art and the Financial Markets over Three Centuries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1370-76, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.