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Art experts and auctions Are pre-sale estimates unbiased and fully informative?


    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • Victor GINSBURGH

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Public sales art catalogues include low and high pre-sale price estimates by experts. This makes it possible to analyze whether pre-sale estimates are unbiased predictors of realized prices. Unbiasedness is tested using a sample of some 1,600 lots of English silver auctioned by Christie's and Sotheby's. Results show that estimates are slightly (but significantly) baised and that experts do not use ail the information that is available to them when they make their estimates.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2000022.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2000022
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  1. Chanel, O. & Gerard, L.A. & Ginsburgh, V., 1992. "The Relevence of Hedonic Price Indices the Case of Paintings," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 92a19, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  2. Bloom, David E. & Killingsworth, Mark R., 1985. "Correcting for truncation bias caused by a latent truncation variable," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 131-135, January.
  3. Chanel, O. & Gérard-Varet, L.-A. & Ginsburgh, V., . "The relevance of hedonic price indices," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1222, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Wales, T J & Woodland, A D, 1980. "Sample Selectivity and the Estimation of Labor Supply Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(2), pages 437-68, June.
  5. Gourieroux, Christian & Pradel, Jacqueline, 1986. "Direct test of the rational expectation hypothesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 265-284, April.
  6. Beggs, A. & Graddy, K., 1996. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," Economics Series Working Papers 99184, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  8. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
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