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Auction Prices of Classical Music Manuscripts – A Hedonic Approach

  • Patrick Georges

    ()

    (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Aylin Seçkin

    ()

    (Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey)

The literature on art auctions has overlooked the market for classical music manuscripts and this paper explores, for the first time, the determinants of “hammer” prices for about 360 classical music manuscripts auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) during the 1998-2009 period. We use hedonic price regressions in order to explain the price of classical music manuscripts by several characteristics. The paper shows that the “trace” of the composer (e.g., whether the manuscript is fully or partly in the hand of the composer or in a scribal hand), the artistic value of the composition, the number of pages, the period (Baroque, Classical, etc.), and of course the name of the composer and the relative scarcity of his manuscripts, are all characteristics that contribute to explain the hammer price of these manuscripts. However, parameter estimates for characteristics such as the type of music (Symphony, Opera, etc.) and whether the manuscript is the complete work or some fragment (say, one movement) are not statistically significant. The paper also estimates a hedonic price index that provides a measure of the average returns and (high) risk of collecting and investing in music manuscripts.

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Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1202E.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1202e
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  1. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2005. "Vested Interest and Biased Price Estimates: Evidence from an Auction Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2409-2435, October.
  2. Nicoletta Marinelli & Giulio Palomba, 2009. "A Model for Pricing the Italian Contemporary Art Paintings at Auction," EHUCHAPS, Universidad del País Vasco - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
  3. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the economics of art and culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1673, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Borowiecki, Karol Jan, 2013. "Geographic clustering and productivity: An instrumental variable approach for classical composers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 94-110.
  5. Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-89, December.
  6. Combris, Pierre & Lecocq, Sebastien & Visser, Michael, 1997. "Estimation for a Hedonic Price Equation for Bordeaux Wine: Does Quality Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 390-402, March.
  7. Chanel, O. & Gerard-Varet, L.A. & Ginsburgh, V., 1993. "Prices and Returns on Paintings and Exercise on How to Price the Priceless," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 93b01, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  8. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 1997. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 544-565, Autumn.
  9. Ginsburgh, Victor & Jeanfils, Philippe, 1995. "Long-term comovements in international markets for paintings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 538-548, April.
  10. Günther Schulze & Anselm Rose, 1998. "Public Orchestra Funding in Germany – An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 227-247, December.
  11. Victor Ginsburgh & Luc Bauwens, 2000. "Art experts and auctions :are pre-sale estimates unbiased and fully informative," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152099, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. 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).
  13. Harchaoui, Tarek M. & Hamdad, Malika, 2000. "The prices of classical recorded music: a hedonic approach," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 497-514, April.
  14. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2002. "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1656-1668, December.
  15. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Douglas Hodgson & Keith Vorkink, 2004. "Asset pricing theory and the valuation of Canadian paintings," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 629-655, August.
  17. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  18. Robert Ekelund & Rand Ressler & John Watson, 1998. "Estimates, Bias and “No Sales” in Latin-American Art Auctions, 1977–1996," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 33-42, March.
  19. Marilena Locatelli-Biey & Roberto Zanola, 2002. "The Sculpture Market: An Adjacent Year Regression Index," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 65-78, February.
  20. Jenny N. Lye & Joseph G. Hirschberg, 2002. "Tests of Inference for Dummy Variables in Regressions with Logarithmic Transformed Dependent Variables," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 852, The University of Melbourne.
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