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Discoveries of fakes: their impact on the art market

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  • Fabien Bocart
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

Despite the dramatic surge in the production of fakes, their impact on the art market remains unexplored. This paper investigates the overall impact that the discovery of a fake painting, for example a fake Gauguin, has on the market for paintings from the same artist (Gauguin’s artworks). Before the fake’s discovery, artworks are less likely to be sold through Sotheby’s or Christie’s suggesting that sellers may wish to avoid their extensive scrutiny. However, when fakes have been discovered sellers rely more often on these auction houses, probably because they are viewed as providing a credible form of certification. Surprisingly, fake discoveries have almost no impact on the probability to sell an artwork. Prices only react negatively with a lag, suggesting that sellers try to postpone their sales as long as possible. Eventually, close to a year after fakes have been made public, prices increase indicating that buyers view the market as purged.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 11-023.

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Length: 8 p.
Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/89693

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  1. Collins, Alan & Scorcu, Antonello & Zanola, Roberto, 2009. "Reconsidering hedonic art price indexes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 57-60, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the economics of art and culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1673, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  5. Victor Ginsburgh & Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2006. "On the computation of art indices in art," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7290, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Ott Toomet & Arne Henningsen, . "Sample Selection Models in R: Package sampleSelection," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(i07).
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Cited by:
  1. BOCART, Fabian & HAFNER, Christian, 2013. "Fair re-valuation of wine as an investment," CORE Discussion Papers 2013025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. David, Géraldine & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Art market inefficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 23-25.
  3. 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).
  4. Fabian Y.R.P. Bocart & Christian M. Hafner, 2012. "Volatility of price indices for heterogeneous goods," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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