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The performance of auction houses selling Picasso Prints

  • Finn R. Førsund


  • Roberto Zanola


It has been observed that similar prints can obtain quite different prices at different auctions within the same auction period. Previous works applying hedonic price technique to determine the formation of auction prices of objects of art have found no conclusive result about the impact of auction houses on final prices. In these studies the object of art has been the unit, and influence of auction houses is analysed by testing whether auction house impact on price is significant or not within a framework of central tendencies. In order to focus on auction houses as a unit we have applied a benchmarking technique, DEA, developed for efficiency studies. Performance indexes are defined and calculated giving an insight into auction house differences difficult to obtain using hedonic price approach.

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Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 30-2002.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:30-2002
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  1. Rajiv D. Banker & Richard C. Morey, 1986. "The Use of Categorical Variables in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(12), pages 1613-1627, December.
  2. G. Candela & A. Scorcu, 1997. "A Price Index for Art Market Auctions," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 175-196, September.
  3. Anderson, Robert C, 1974. "Paintings as an Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 13-26, March.
  4. Finn R. Førsund & Roberto Zanola, 2001. "Selling Picasso paintings: the efficiency of auction houses," ICER Working Papers 07-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  5. Per Andersen & Niels Christian Petersen, 1993. "A Procedure for Ranking Efficient Units in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1261-1264, October.
  6. Chanel, O. & Gã‰Rard-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).
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