The Price of Degenerate Art
This paper analyzes, on basis of an original database of close to 3 000 canvasses sold during the war in Drouot, the main French auction house, the evolution of the art market in occupied France. Based on hedonic regressions, it shows that by all standards the market experienced a massive boom. Our index increases from a value of 100 in December 1940 to more than 500 in February 1943 after which a marked decline occurred up till November 1943. The paper also analyzes the impact on the market of a given state policy regarding acceptable taste. The paper shows that the price of the paintings viewed as “degenerate” by the Nazis mimicked those of the art market in general and this up till June 1944 when their price increases once more whereas the general index decreases slightly.
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