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War, Inflation, Monetary Reforms and the Art Market .The Belgian Art market (1944 – 1951)

Author

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  • Geraldine David
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

During World War II, the art market experienced a massive boom in occupied countries. The discretion, the inflation proof character, the absence of market intervention and the possibility to resell artworks abroad have been suggested to explain why investing in artworks was one of the most interesting opportunities under the German boot. On basis of an original database of close to 4000 artworks sold between 1944 and 1951 at Giroux, one of the most important Art Gallery in Brussels, this paper analyzes, the price movements on the Belgian art market following the liberation. Market reactions following the war are used to understand which motivations played the most important role in investors’ decisions. Prices on the art market experienced a massive drop. This huge price decline is attributed to two elements: fear of prosecution for war profits and the monetary reforms set into place in October 1944.

Suggested Citation

  • Geraldine David & Kim Oosterlinck, 2011. "War, Inflation, Monetary Reforms and the Art Market .The Belgian Art market (1944 – 1951)," Working Papers CEB 11-055, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/103479
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    2. Oosterlinck, Kim, 2010. "French Stock exchanges and regulation during World War II," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 211-237, October.
    3. Kim Oosterlinck, 2009. "The Price of Degenerate Art," Working Papers CEB 09-031.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Occhino, Filippo & Oosterlinck, Kim & White, Eugene N., 2008. "How Much Can a Victor Force the Vanquished to Pay? France under the Nazi Boot," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 1-45, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Kim Oosterlinck & Filippo Occhino & Eugene N. White, 2006. "How occupied France financed its own exploitation during WW2," Working Papers CEB 06-012.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia1, 2015. "The liquidation of government debt," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(82), pages 291-333.
    8. Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-1089, December.
    9. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/14429 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Art market; Art Investment; WWII; Belgium; Post-war; Monetary reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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