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Failure to Meet the Reserve Price: The Impact on Returns to Art

  • Alan Beggs
  • Kathryn Graddy

This paper presents an empirical study of paintings that have failed to meet their reserve price at auction. In the art trade it is often claimed that when an advertised item goes unsold at auction, its future value will be affected. We have constructed a new dataset specifically for the purpose of testing this proposition. To preview our results, we find that paintings that come to auction and failed return significantly less when they are eventually sold than those paintings that have not been advertised at auction between sales. These lower returns may occur because of common value effects, idiosyncratic downward trends in tastes, or changes in the seller`s reserve price.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper272.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 272.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:272
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  1. 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.
  2. Goetzmann, William Nelson, 1992. "The Accuracy of Real Estate Indices: Repeat Sale Estimators," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-53, March.
  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. Steven D. Levitt & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Market Distortions When Agents Are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-611, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Economics Papers 2004-W09, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  7. Kathryn Graddy & Orley Ashenfelter, 2002. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Economics Series Working Papers 131, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Anderson, Robert C, 1974. "Paintings as an Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 13-26, March.
  9. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-69, June.
  10. Chanel, O. & Gerard-Varet, L.A., 1996. "Auction Theory and Practice Evidence from the Market for Jewellery," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96b05, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  11. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  12. Goetzmann, William N, 1993. "Accounting for Taste: Art and the Financial Markets over Three Centuries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1370-76, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2011. "Art Auctions," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
    • Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2010. "Art Auctions," Working Papers 1212, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  15. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the Arts: Selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152420, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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