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Financial returns and price determinants in the Australian art market, 1973-2003

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  • Helen Higgs
  • Andrew C Worthington

Abstract

In this study, 37,605 paintings by sixty well-known Australian artists sold at auction over the period 1973-2003 are used to construct a hedonic price index. The attributes included in the hedonic regression model include the name and living status of the artist, the size and medium of the painting, and the auction house and year in which the painting was sold. The resulting index indicates that returns on Australian fine-art averaged seven percent in nominal terms over the period with a standard deviation of sixteen percent. As a result, the risk-adjusted return of 0.42 in the Australian art market is only slightly less than the risk-adjusted return of 0.44 in the Australian stock market over the same period. The hedonic regression model also captures the willingness to pay for perceived attributes in the artwork, and this shows that works by McCubbin, Gascoigne, Thomas and Preston and other artists deceased at the time of auction, works executed in oils or acrylic, and those auctioned by Sotheby\'s or Christie\'s are associated with higher prices.

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File URL: http://external-apps.qut.edu.au/business/documents/discussionPapers/2004/DP%20No.%20184%20-%20Worthington%20&%20Higgs.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 184.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:184

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Postal: GPO Box 2434, BRISBANE QLD 4001
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Web page: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/faculty/economics/
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  1. 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.
  2. Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1995. "On pricing the priceless: Comments on the economics of the visual art market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 509-518, April.
  3. Ginsburgh, Victor & Jeanfils, Philippe, 1995. "Long-term comovements in international markets for paintings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 538-548, April.
  4. Marilena Locatelli Biey & Roberto Zanola, 1999. "Investment in Paintings: A Short-Run Price Index," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 209-219, August.
  5. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Ginsburgh, V. & Buelens, N., 1992. "Revisiting Baumol's "Art As Floating Crap Game"," Papers 9204, Universite Libre de Bruxelles - C.E.M.E..
  7. Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1995. "On the rate of return in the art market: Survey and evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 528-537, April.
  8. Olivier Chanel & Louis-André Gérard-Varlet & Victor Ginsburgh, 1994. "Prices and returns on paintings: an exercise on how to price the priceless," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1721, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Richard Agnello & Renée Pierce, 1996. "Financial returns, price determinants, and genre effects in American art investment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 359-383, December.
  10. Renato G.Renato Flôres Jr. & Victor Ginsburgh & Philippe Jeanfils, 1999. "Long- and short-term portfolio choices of paintings," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/99275, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Czujack, Corinna & Flôres Junior, Renato Galvão & Ginsburgh, Victor, 1995. "On Long-Run Price Comovements Between Paintings and Prints," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 269, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  12. Chanel, O., 1994. "Is Art Market Behavior Predictable?," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 94b08, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  13. Luc Renneboog, 2002. "The monetary appreciation of paintings: from realism to Magritte," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 331-358, May.
  14. Andrew C. Worthington & Helen Higgs, 2004. "Art as an investment: risk, return and portfolio diversification in major painting markets," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 44(2), pages 257-271.
  15. 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.
  16. Andrew C. Worthington & Helen Higgs, 2003. "Art as an investment: Short and long-term comovements in major painting markets," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 649-668, November.
  17. 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.
  18. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  19. Anderson, Robert C, 1974. "Paintings as an Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 13-26, March.
  20. G. Candela & A. Scorcu, 1997. "A Price Index for Art Market Auctions," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 175-196, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kraeussl, Roman & Wiehenkamp, Christian, 2010. "A call on Art investments," CFS Working Paper Series 2010/03, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. 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.
  3. Ventura Charlin & Arturo Cifuentes, 2013. "A new financial metric for the art market," Papers 1309.6929, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2013.
  4. Nicoletta Marinelli & Giulio Palomba, 2009. "A Model for Pricing the Italian Contemporary Art Paintings at Auction," EHUCHAPS, Universidad del País Vasco - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
  5. Kräussl, Roman & Elsland, Niels van, 2008. "Constructing the true art market index: A novel 2-step hedonic approach and its application to the German art market," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Taylor, Dominic & Coleman, Les, 2011. "Price determinants of Aboriginal art, and its role as an alternative asset class," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1519-1529, June.
  7. Helen Higgs & John Forster, 2014. "The auction market for artworks and their physical dimensions: Australia—1986 to 2009," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 85-104, February.

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