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The Price of Degenerate Art

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  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

This paper analyzes, on basis of an original database of close to 3 000 canvasses sold during the war in Drouot, the main French auction house, the evolution of the art market in occupied France. Based on hedonic regressions, it shows that by all standards the market experienced a massive boom. Our index increases from a value of 100 in December 1940 to more than 500 in February 1943 after which a marked decline occurred up till November 1943. The paper also analyzes the impact on the market of a given state policy regarding acceptable taste. The paper shows that the price of the paintings viewed as “degenerate” by the Nazis mimicked those of the art market in general and this up till June 1944 when their price increases once more whereas the general index decreases slightly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 09-031.RS.

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Length: 48 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:09-031

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Related research

Keywords: Art market; Art investments; Degenerate art; Economics of occupation; Hedonic Regression; World War Two;

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References

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  1. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Spaenjers, C., 2009. "Buying Beauty: On Prices and Returns in the Art Market," Discussion Paper 2009-004, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  6. James Pesando & Pauline Shum, 1999. "The Returns to Picasso's Prints and to Traditional Financial Assets, 1977 to 1996," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 181-190, August.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. BOCART, Fabian Y. R. P. & HAFNER, Christian, 2011. "Econometric analysis of volatile art markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2011052, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Geraldine David & Kim Oosterlinck, 2012. "War, Inflation, Monetary Reform and the Art Market," Working Papers 0012, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  3. Géraldine David & Kim Oosterlinck, 2011. "War, Inflation, Monetary Reforms and the Art Market .The Belgian Art market (1944 – 1951)," Working Papers CEB 11-055, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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