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Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Orley Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • Kathryn Graddy

    (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between sale rates and price shocks in art auctions. Using data on contemporary and impressionist art, we show that while sale rates appear to have little relationship to current prices, there exists a strong negative relationship of sale rates to unexpected price shocks, which is reminiscent of a Phillips curve. We estimate an empirical model that suggests that the reserve price is set on average at about 70% of the low estimate.

Suggested Citation

  • Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions," Working Papers 23, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  • Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:23
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    File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP23.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:pri:cepsud:203ashenfelter is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 763-787, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Clare McAndrew & James L Smith & Rex Thompson, 2012. "The impact of reserve prices on the perceived bias of expert appraisals of fine art," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 235-252, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Mortensen, Dale T, 1970. "Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 847-862, December.
    7. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2002. "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1656-1668, December.
    8. Madeleine de la Barre & Sophie Docclo & Victor Ginsburgh, 1994. "Returns of impressionist, modern and contemporary European painters, 1962-1991," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1723, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. repec:adr:anecst:y:1994:i:35:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    11. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Unnatural Value: Or Art Investment as Floating Crap Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 10-14, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dakshina Garfield De Silva & Marina Gertsberg & Georgia Kosmopoulou & Rachel Pownall, 2017. "Dealer Networks in the World of Art," Working Papers 198144199, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. Penasse, J.N.G. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2014. "Bubbles and Trading Frenzies : Evidence from the Art Market," Discussion Paper 2014-068, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    3. David, GĂ©raldine & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Art market inefficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 23-25.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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