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Art Market Inefficiency

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  • Geraldine David
  • Kim Oosterlinck
  • Ariane Szafarz

Abstract

Art is often used as an investment vehicle. Given the importance of market efficiency in finance, we use a large auction-based index to test whether the art market is weakly efficient. Evidence reveals that returns on artworks exhibit high positive auto-correlation. We attribute this result to price truncation resulting from unobservable reserve prices in auctions. We conclude that the art market is not efficient, mainly because price formation is opaque to outsiders who lack information on unsold artworks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 13-011.

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Length: 7 p.
Date of creation: 11 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/140325

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Keywords: Art Market; Market Efficiency; Auction; Random Walk; Reserve Price;

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  1. Erdos, Péter & Ormos, Mihály, 2010. "Random walk theory and the weak-form efficiency of the US art auction prices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1062-1076, May.
  2. Throsby, David, 1994. "The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-29, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. Fabien Bocart & Kim Oosterlinck, 2011. "Discoveries of Fakes: their Impact on the Art Market," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/142704, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  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. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  9. Collins, Alan & Scorcu, Antonello & Zanola, Roberto, 2009. "Reconsidering hedonic art price indexes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 57-60, August.
  10. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1987. "Stock Market Prices Do Not Follow Random Walks: Evidence From a Simple Specification Test," NBER Working Papers 2168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Luc Renneboog & Christophe Spaenjers, 2013. "Buying Beauty: On Prices and Returns in the Art Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 36-53, February.
  15. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Pénasse, Julien & Renneboog, Luc & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2014. "Sentiment and art prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 432-434.

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