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Who Collects Art? An International Empirical Assessment

Author

Listed:
  • Lasse Steiner
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Magnus Resch

Abstract

A unique recent data set covering around 3,000 private art collections and collectors is used to identify their location and composition. The largest number of private collections is located in Europe, followed by North America and Asia. The largest number of private art collections is located in the United States. The United Kingdom, Germany and Spain have more collections per capita of population. Private collectors above all assemble works by artists from North America, followed by Asian, and only then European artists. The three artists most assembled by private collectors are Warhol, Picasso and Hirst. A considerable part of the differences in the number of private collections per head between countries can be attributed to per capita income. The collection of art is mainly undertaken by persons who can afford to build up wealth also in the form of collections of art.

Suggested Citation

  • Lasse Steiner & Bruno S. Frey & Magnus Resch, 2014. "Who Collects Art? An International Empirical Assessment," CREMA Working Paper Series 2014-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2014-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Marchi, Neil & Van Miegroet, Hans J., 2006. "The History of Art Markets," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, in: V.A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 69-122, Elsevier.
    2. Belk, Russell W., 1995. "Collecting as luxury consumption: Effects on individuals and households," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 477-490, September.
    3. Lasse Steiner & Bruno S. Frey & Magnus Resch, 2013. "Home is where your art is: the home bias of art collectors," ECON - Working Papers 135, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. 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.
    5. Kraeussl, Roman & Logher, Robin, 2010. "Emerging art markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 301-318, December.
    6. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Spaenjers, C., 2009. "The Iconic Boom in Modern Russian Art," Discussion Paper 2009-70, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. G√ľnther Schulze, 1999. "International Trade in Art," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(1), pages 109-136, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Art; collections; home bias; investment; international finance;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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