IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1202e
Contact details of provider: Postal: PO Box 450, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5
Phone: (613) 562-5753
Fax: (613) 562-5999
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. O. Chanel & L. A. Gerard-Varet & V. Ginsburgh, 1994. "Prices and Returns on Paintings: An Exercise on How to Price the Priceless," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(1), pages 7-21, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Borowiecki, Karol Jan, 2011. "Geographic Clustering and Productivity: An Instrumental Variable Approach for Classical Composers," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48738, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  20. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1202e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diane Ritchot)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.