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Who pays brokers' commissions? Evidence from fine wine auctions

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  • Denton Marks

Abstract

As brokers between consignors and buyers, auction houses routinely charge successful bidders a broker's commission—a percent of their successful bids. This study considers the extent to which differences in brokers' commissions are reflected in differences in winning bids in fine wine auctions, drawing upon an unusually detailed collection of auction data for Bordeaux wine and providing a 'natural experiment' for testing the incidence of brokers' commissions. The data allow not only a test of the extent to which the commission charged to buyers is reflected in the buyers' bids but also a reasonably comprehensive explanation of variations in wine auction prices. The results indicate that buyers' premia are capitalized fully into bids so that bids fall accordingly with obvious consequences for the proceeds from the sale. Copyright 2009 , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Denton Marks, 2009. "Who pays brokers' commissions? Evidence from fine wine auctions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 761-775, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:4:p:761-775
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpp003
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimson, Elroy & Rousseau, Peter L. & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2015. "The price of wine," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 431-449.
    2. Spaenjers, Christophe & Goetzmann, William N. & Mamonova, Elena, 2015. "The economics of aesthetics and record prices for art since 1701," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 79-94.
    3. William Goetzmann & Elena Mamonova & Christophe Spaenjers, 2014. "The Economics of Aesthetics and Three Centuries of Art Price Records," NBER Working Papers 20440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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