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Auction hosts: are they really impartial?

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  • Marie BLUM

    (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)

Abstract

This study explores the impacts i) of marketing strategies implemented by auction houses and ii) of auctioneers’ way of conducting auctions, on auction sale outcomes: the probability of sale, the final purchase price and the final price in percentage of the mean pre-sale estimated price. Using video recordings of art auction sales and a hand-collected database of 1101 auctioned artworks, we find firstly that the organizational and promotional work carried out by auction houses have an impact on different sale outcomes and secondly that the auctioneer’s behavior seems to be decisive, especially the usage of humor. In this paper, we provide the first examination of the influence of professional auctioneers on auction prices. This research brings a more comprehensive understanding of bidders’ behavior, the tactics through which auction houses and auctioneers affect outcomes, and the functioning of real-world auction markets. Moreover, the findings of this study yield useful managerial insights for marketers.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie BLUM, 2021. "Auction hosts: are they really impartial?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2021-09, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lar:wpaper:2021-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    auctioneer; auction house; strategy; art market; prices.;
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