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

Listed author(s):
  • Richard J. Agnello

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

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.

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File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume28/V28N4P443_463.pdf
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Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 443-463

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:443-463
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  1. 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.
  2. Renato Flôres & Victor Ginsburgh & Philippe Jeanfils, 1999. "Long- and Short-Term Portfolio Choices of Paintings," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(3), pages 191-208, August.
  3. 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.
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  5. Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1995. "On pricing the priceless: Comments on the economics of the visual art market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 509-518, April.
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  7. Ginsburgh, Victor & Jeanfils, Philippe, 1995. "Long-term comovements in international markets for paintings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 538-548, April.
  8. Leslie Singer & Gary Lynch, 1997. "Are Multiple Art Markets Rational?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 21(3), pages 197-218, September.
  9. Anderson, Robert C, 1974. "Paintings as an Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 13-26, March.
  10. Olivier Chanel & Louis-André Gérard-Varet & Victor Ginsburgh, 1996. "The relevance of hedonic price indices," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(1), pages 1-24, March.
  11. R. Ekelund & Rand Ressler & John Watson, 2000. "The ``Death-Effect'' in Art Prices: A Demand-Side Exploration," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 24(4), pages 283-300, November.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 1370-1376, December.
  14. Koford, Kenneth & Tschoegl, Adrian E., 1998. "The market value of rarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 445-457, March.
  15. Chanel, O. & Gerard, L.A. & Ginsburgh, V., 1992. "The Relevence of Hedonic Price Indices the Case of Paintings," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 92a19, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  16. Bruno Frey, 1997. "Art Markets and Economics: Introduction," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 21(3), pages 165-173, September.
  17. Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-1089, December.
  18. Marilena Locatelli Biey & Roberto Zanola, 1999. "Investment in Paintings: A Short-Run Price Index," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(3), pages 209-219, August.
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