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Age, Human Capital, and the Quality of Work: New Evidence from Old Masters

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Listed:
  • Bayer Thomas

    ()

  • Page John

    () (A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)

  • Raviv Yaron

    ()

  • Rosett Joshua

    () (Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College, 500 E. Ninth St. Claremont, CA 91711, USA)

Abstract

The links between individual ability, human capital investment, and quality of output are generally hard to examine because in most situations output results from multiple inputs and often through complex contracting processes. We overcome these problems by examining life-cycle artistic output quality as reflected in art auction prices. First, we observe an inverted U-shaped age-quality of work profile similar to the conventional age–wage profile. Second, we find that the degree of concavity increases for those with higher native ability. Third, we find that working for a patron rather than selling directly to the market is associated with a flatter age profile. Fourth, we find evidence that formal education increases the concavity of the age-quality of work profile. These results are consistent with the theory and demonstrate that artists respond to incentives to invest in human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayer Thomas & Page John & Raviv Yaron & Rosett Joshua, 2013. "Age, Human Capital, and the Quality of Work: New Evidence from Old Masters," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 687-708, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:13:y:2013:i:2:p:687-708:n:2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 761-777, August.
    2. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2004. "Performance, seniority, and wages: formal salary systems and individual earnings profiles," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 741-763, December.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    4. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 1997. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 544-565, Autumn.
    5. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448.
    6. Raviv, Yaron, 2006. "New Evidence on Price Anomalies in Sequential Auctions: Used Cars in New Jersey," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 301-312, July.
    7. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2001. "Creating Modern Art: The Changing Careers of Painters in France from Impressionism to Cubism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1063-1071, September.
    8. Christiane Hellmanzik, 2009. "Artistic styles: revisiting the analysis of modern artists’ careers," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 33(3), pages 201-232, August.
    9. Hellmanzik, Christiane, 2010. "Location matters: Estimating cluster premiums for prominent modern artists," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-218, February.
    10. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Weiss, Matthias, 2016. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 30-42.
    2. Kliger, Doron & Raviv, Yaron & Rosett, Joshua & Bayer, Thomas & Page, John, 2015. "Seasonal affective disorder and seasoned art auction prices: New evidence from old masters," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 74-84.

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