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Better off Dead? Prices Realised for Australian Paintings Sold at Auction

Author

Listed:
  • Bronwyn Coate

    () (School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia)

  • Tim R.L. Fry

    () (School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia)

Abstract

Using auction sales data on Australian paintings over the period 1995 and 2003 we investigate the relationship between artists´ living status and the price of paintings sold at auction. For deceased artists we consider the time since their death and for living artists their conditional life expectancy. Hedonic regression analysis is applied separately to the data on Indigenous and non-Indigenous paintings. Comparing the modelling results across Indigenous and non-Indigenous paintings we see evidence of two different patterns of response to an artist´s living status. Both yield non-linear impacts but for Indigenous paintings these are quadratic and for non-Indigenous they are quartic. Thus the response to living status in the more recent market for Indigenous paintings is different to the more established market for non-Indigenous paintings. Whilst the responses differ for the two types of paintings, in answer to the question posed and in terms of the price of a painting at auction an artist is better off long dead or close to death.

Suggested Citation

  • Bronwyn Coate & Tim R.L. Fry, 2012. "Better off Dead? Prices Realised for Australian Paintings Sold at Auction," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-02-2012, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Feb 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:cue:wpaper:awp-02-2012
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    File URL: http://www.culturaleconomics.org/awp/AWP-02-2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ventura Charlin & Arturo Cifuentes, 2013. "A new financial metric for the art market," Papers 1309.6929, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2015.
    2. J. N. Lye and J. G. Hirschberg, 2012. "Inverse Test Confidence Intervals for Turning points: A," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1160, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Australian paintings; Indigenous paintings; auction prices; death; conditional life expectancy;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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