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Investment Returns and Risk for Art: Evidence from Auctions of American Paintings

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  • Richard J. Agnello

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

Abstract

The literature on return and risk for investment in paintings is extended by disaggregating for artist, genre, and quality. A hedonic log price model generates yearly price indices and shadow values for painting characteristics using a large sample of U.S. artists sold at auction from 1971 to 1996. Overall returns to holding paintings are low, and have high annual variation although disparities are found across categories. High quality paintings show the highest returns, second only to equities, and are not offset by higher risk. Buying the highest quality superstar paintings seems to be the best overall investment strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Agnello, 2002. "Investment Returns and Risk for Art: Evidence from Auctions of American Paintings," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 443-463, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:443-463
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume28/V28N4P443_463.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Park, Heungju & Ju, Lan & Liang, Tianyu & Tu, Zhiyong, 2017. "Horizon analysis of art investments: Evidence from the Chinese market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 17-25.
    3. Heinrich W. Ursprung & Christian Wiermann, 2011. "Reputation, Price, And Death: An Empirical Analysis Of Art Price Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 697-715, July.
    4. Guido Candela & Paolo Figini & Antonello Scorcu, 2004. "Price Indices for Artists – A Proposal," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 28(4), pages 285-302, November.
    5. McQuillan, William & Lucey, Brian, 2016. "The validity of Islamic art as an investment," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 388-401.
    6. Bronwyn Coate & Tim R.L. Fry, 2012. "Better off Dead? Prices Realised for Australian Paintings Sold at Auction," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-02-2012, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Feb 2012.
    7. Richard J. Agnello, 2006. "Do U.S. Paintings Follow the CAPM? Findings Disaggregated by Subject, Artist, and Value of the Work," Working Papers 06-02, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    8. Calin Valsan & Robert Sproule, 2006. "Hedonic Models and Pre-Auction Estimates: Abstract Art Revisited," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(5), pages 1-10.
    9. Agnello, Richard J., 2016. "Do U.S. paintings follow the CAPM? Findings disaggregated by subject, artist, and value of the work," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 403-411.
    10. Nicoletta Marinelli & Giulio Palomba, . "A Model for Pricing the Italian Contemporary Art Paintings at Auction," EHUCHAPS, Universidad del País Vasco - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
    11. Seth C. Anderson & Robert B. Ekelund & John D. Jackson & Robert D. Tollison, 2016. "Investment in early American art: the impact of transaction costs and no-sales on returns," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(3), pages 335-357, August.
    12. Anna Lucińska, 2015. "The Art Market in the European Union," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 21(1), pages 67-79, March.
    13. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:120-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:kap:iaecre:v:21:y:2015:i:1:p:67-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Schneider, Lutz, 2007. "Mit 55 zum alten Eisen? : eine Analyse des Alterseinflusses auf die Produktivität anhand des LIAB (Dispensable at 55? : analyzing the impact of age on productivity using the LIAB dataset)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(1), pages 77-97.
    16. James E. Pesando & Pauline M. Shum, 2008. "The Auction Market For Modern Prints: Confirmations, Contradictions, And New Puzzles," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 149-159, April.
    17. Erdal Atukeren & Aylin Seçkin, 2006. "Art and the Economy: A First Look at the Market for Paintings in Turkey," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(3), pages 1-13.
    18. Aylin Seckin, "undated". "Art as an Investment under High Inflation: an Empirical Study on Turkish Paintings," EcoMod2006 272100081, EcoMod.
    19. Richard Agnello & Xiaowen Xu, 2006. "Art Prices and Race: Paintings by African American Artists and Their White Contemporaries," Working Papers 06-06, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    20. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:340-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2006:i:3:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Marinelli, Nicoletta & Palomba, Giulio, 2011. "A model for pricing Italian Contemporary Art paintings at auction," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 212-224, May.
    23. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2006:i:5:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Art; Artist;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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