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Prices for Paintings by African American Artists and Their Contemporaries: Does Race Matter? (Revision of Working Paper No. 2006-06)

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Agnello

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

  • Xiaowen Xu

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent that economic markets have incorporated mainstream artistic acceptance of African American art. Price levels and movements for paintings by African American artists versus their white contemporaries are compared using auction data from 1972 to 2004. Means in the aggregate as well as individually are found to be significantly lower for African American artists in almost every case. Hedonic regressions are used to refine the statistical analysis by controlling for factors characterizing the painting and auction environment. In the regressions significant differences persist between the two groups with African American artists experiencing lower price levels but higher price appreciation throughout the period. The price gap thus appears to be narrowing indicating a possible convergence of economic reality and artistic appreciation. In addition, the higher investment returns for paintings by African American artists made them a relatively profitable art niche in recent years and possibly for the future since economic values have not completely converged for the two groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Agnello & Xiaowen Xu, 2008. "Prices for Paintings by African American Artists and Their Contemporaries: Does Race Matter? (Revision of Working Paper No. 2006-06)," Working Papers 08-06, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:08-06.
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    File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2008/UDWP2008-06.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna LuciƄska, 2015. "The Art Market in the European Union," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 21(1), pages 67-79, March.
    2. repec:kap:iaecre:v:21:y:2015:i:1:p:67-79 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of Art; Painting Prices; African American Painters; Hedonic Regression;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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