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Who pays brokers' commissions? Evidence from fine wine auctions

Listed author(s):
  • Denton Marks
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    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.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpp003
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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 761-775

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:4:p:761-775
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