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Does travel inspire? Evidence from the superstars of modern art

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  • Christiane Hellmanzik

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether travel increases the value of paintings produced by modern visual artists. The analysis is based on the 214 most prominent modern visual artists born between 1850 and 1945 and auction records of their paintings over the past 20 years. We find that artworks produced in the year of a journey are 7% more valuable than paintings produced in periods with no travel. We attribute this effect to human capital investments, knowledge spillovers and inspiration from the travel destination itself. There are persistent, but declining benefits to travel over the subsequent 4 years. The analysis shows that the impact of travel is smaller for later periods as modern art becomes more abstract. The effect on the value of paintings differs depending on the purpose of a journey: work-related, recreational and politically motivated journeys have a positive contemporaneous effect on value, whereas educational journeys have a negative effect. In addition, we find that France, Germany and the United States are the most frequently visited destinations for modern artists and also yield considerable benefits during times of strong innovation. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Hellmanzik, 2013. "Does travel inspire? Evidence from the superstars of modern art," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 281-303, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:45:y:2013:i:1:p:281-303
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-012-0617-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Piva, Mariacristina & Tani, Massimiliano & Vivarelli, Marco, 2017. "The Productivity Impact of Business Mobility: International Evidence," GLO Discussion Paper Series 14, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0679-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Andrej Srakar & Petja Grafenauer & Marilena Vecco, 2016. "Being Central and Productive? Evidence from Slovenian Visual Artists in the 19th and 20th Century," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-09-2016, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Sep 2016.
    4. Hellmanzik, Christiane, 2016. "Historic art exhibitions and modern - day auction results," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 421-430.
    5. repec:spr:homoec:v:34:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s41412-016-0033-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mariacristina Piva & Massimiliano Tani & Marco Vivarelli, 2018. "Business visits, knowledge diffusion and productivity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 1321-1338, October.
    7. Piva, Mariacristina & Tani, Massimiliano & Vivarelli, Marco, 2017. "Labour mobility through business visits as a way to foster productivity," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Guido Candela & Massimiliano Castellani & Pierpaolo Pattitoni & F. Marta L. Lascio, 2016. "On Rosen’s and Adler’s hypotheses in the modern and contemporary visual art market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 415-437, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modern artists; Mobility; Travel; Economic geography; Human capital; Knowledge spillovers; Creativity; Peer effects; J61; R39; N90; Z11;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R39 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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