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Auctions and the Price of Art

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  • Orley Ashenfelter
  • Kathryn Graddy

Abstract

This paper contains a review of the burgeoning new research of the last decade that has been designed to shed light on how the art auction system works, what it indicates about price formation, and how well it performs. We begin with a short description of the mechanics of the auction system and then organize the remainder of our discussion around two major topics: how auction prices can be used to determine and compare overall price movements within the art market and with other markets; and how the auction mechanism influences prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 763-787, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:763-787
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205103322436188
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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