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War, Inflation, Monetary Reforms and the Art Market .The Belgian Art market (1944 – 1951)

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  • Géraldine David
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

During World War II, the art market experienced a massive boom in occupied countries. The discretion, the inflation proof character, the absence of market intervention and the possibility to resell artworks abroad have been suggested to explain why investing in artworks was one of the most interesting opportunities under the German boot. On basis of an original database of close to 4000 artworks sold between 1944 and 1951 at Giroux, one of the most important Art Gallery in Brussels, this paper analyzes, the price movements on the Belgian art market following the liberation. Market reactions following the war are used to understand which motivations played the most important role in investors’ decisions. Prices on the art market experienced a massive drop. This huge price decline is attributed to two elements: fear of prosecution for war profits and the monetary reforms set into place in October 1944.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 11-055.

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Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/103479

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Keywords: Art market; Art Investment; WWII; Belgium; Post-war; Monetary reforms;

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References

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  1. Kim Oosterlinck & Filippo Occhino & Eugene N. White, 2006. "How occupied France financed its own exploitation during WW2," Working Papers CEB 06-012.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & Philippe Jeanfils, 1995. "Long-term comovements in international markets for paintings," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1717, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  4. Occhino, Filippo & Oosterlinck, Kim & White, Eugene N., 2008. "How Much Can a Victor Force the Vanquished to Pay? France under the Nazi Boot," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 1-45, March.
  5. Oosterlinck, Kim, 2010. "French Stock exchanges and regulation during World War II," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 211-237, October.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 16893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/14429 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Kim Oosterlinck, 2009. "The Price of Degenerate Art," Working Papers CEB 09-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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