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Financial returns and price determinants in the Australian art market, 1973-2003

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  • Helen Higgs
  • Andrew C Worthington

Abstract

In this study, 37,605 paintings by sixty well-known Australian artists sold at auction over the period 1973-2003 are used to construct a hedonic price index. The attributes included in the hedonic regression model include the name and living status of the artist, the size and medium of the painting, and the auction house and year in which the painting was sold. The resulting index indicates that returns on Australian fine-art averaged seven percent in nominal terms over the period with a standard deviation of sixteen percent. As a result, the risk-adjusted return of 0.42 in the Australian art market is only slightly less than the risk-adjusted return of 0.44 in the Australian stock market over the same period. The hedonic regression model also captures the willingness to pay for perceived attributes in the artwork, and this shows that works by McCubbin, Gascoigne, Thomas and Preston and other artists deceased at the time of auction, works executed in oils or acrylic, and those auctioned by Sotheby\'s or Christie\'s are associated with higher prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Helen Higgs & Andrew C Worthington, 2004. "Financial returns and price determinants in the Australian art market, 1973-2003," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 184, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Renneboog & Christophe Spaenjers, 2013. "Buying Beauty: On Prices and Returns in the Art Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 36-53, February.
    2. Zhitkov, Konstantin & Ratnikova, Tatiana, 2014. "The construction of hedonic price indices for fauvists’ paintings," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 35(3), pages 59-85.
    3. Ventura Charlin & Arturo Cifuentes, 2013. "A new financial metric for the art market," Papers 1309.6929, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2015.
    4. McQuillan, William & Lucey, Brian, 2016. "The validity of Islamic art as an investment," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 388-401.
    5. Roman Kraeussl & Christian Wiehenkamp, 2012. "A call on art investments," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, April.
    6. Helen Higgs & John Forster, 2014. "The auction market for artworks and their physical dimensions: Australia—1986 to 2009," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(1), pages 85-104, February.
    7. Douglas HODGSON & Aylin SECKIN, "undated". "Dynamic Price Dependence of Canadian and World Art Markets: An Empirical Analysis," EcoMod2010 259600074, EcoMod.
    8. Nicoletta Marinelli & Giulio Palomba, . "A Model for Pricing the Italian Contemporary Art Paintings at Auction," EHUCHAPS, Universidad del País Vasco - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:120-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kräussl, Roman & Elsland, Niels van, 2008. "Constructing the true art market index: A novel 2-step hedonic approach and its application to the German art market," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    11. Taylor, Dominic & Coleman, Les, 2011. "Price determinants of Aboriginal art, and its role as an alternative asset class," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1519-1529, June.
    12. Elena Stepanova, 2017. "The impact of color palettes on the prices of paintings," LEM Papers Series 2017/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    13. Aylin Seckin, "undated". "Art as an Investment under High Inflation: an Empirical Study on Turkish Paintings," EcoMod2006 272100081, EcoMod.
    14. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:340-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Marinelli, Nicoletta & Palomba, Giulio, 2011. "A model for pricing Italian Contemporary Art paintings at auction," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 212-224, May.

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