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Failure to Meet the Reserve Price: The Impact on Returns to Art

  • Beggs, Alan
  • Graddy, Kathryn

This paper presents an empirical study of paintings that have failed to meet their reserve price at auction. In the art trade it is often claimed that when an advertised item goes unsold at auction, its future value will be affected. We have constructed a new dataset specifically for the purpose of testing this proposition. To preview our results, we find that paintings that come to auction and failed return significantly less when they are eventually sold than those paintings that have not been advertised at auction between sales. These lower returns may occur because of common value effects, idiosyncratic downward trends in tastes, or changes in the seller's reserve price.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5811.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5811
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  1. Genesove, D. & Mayer, C.J., 1994. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," Working papers 94-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  8. Anderson, Robert C, 1974. "Paintings as an Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 13-26, March.
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  10. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Luc BAUWENS & Victor GINSBURGH, 2000. "Art experts and auctions Are pre-sale estimates unbiased and fully informative?," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2000022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  12. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2005. "Vested Interest and Biased Price Estimates: Evidence from an Auction Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2409-2435, October.
  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 1370-76, December.
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  15. Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-89, December.
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