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Discoveries of fakes: their impact on the art market

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  • Fabien Bocart
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

Despite the dramatic surge in the production of fakes, their impact on the art market remains unexplored. This paper investigates the overall impact that the discovery of a fake painting, for example a fake Gauguin, has on the market for paintings from the same artist (Gauguin’s artworks). Before the fake’s discovery, artworks are less likely to be sold through Sotheby’s or Christie’s suggesting that sellers may wish to avoid their extensive scrutiny. However, when fakes have been discovered sellers rely more often on these auction houses, probably because they are viewed as providing a credible form of certification. Surprisingly, fake discoveries have almost no impact on the probability to sell an artwork. Prices only react negatively with a lag, suggesting that sellers try to postpone their sales as long as possible. Eventually, close to a year after fakes have been made public, prices increase indicating that buyers view the market as purged.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabien Bocart & Kim Oosterlinck, 2011. "Discoveries of fakes: their impact on the art market," Working Papers CEB 11-023, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/89693
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ginsburgh, Victor & Mei, Jianping & Moses, Michael, 2006. "The Computation of Prices Indices," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
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    4. 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.
    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. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Victor Ginsburgh & Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2006. "On the computation of art indices in art," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7290, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David, Géraldine & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Art market inefficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 23-25.
    2. Spaenjers, Christophe & Goetzmann, William N. & Mamonova, Elena, 2015. "The economics of aesthetics and record prices for art since 1701," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 79-94.
    3. Bocart, Fabian Y.R.P. & Hafner, Christian M., 2012. "Econometric analysis of volatile art markets," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 56(11), pages 3091-3104.
    4. Fabian Y.R.P. Bocart & Christian M. Hafner, 2012. "Volatility of price indices for heterogeneous goods," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    5. David, Geraldine, 2016. "Art as an investment in a historical perspective," Other publications TiSEM 2361da4b-d827-4cae-91ce-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Bocart, Fabian Y.R.P. & Hafner, Christian M., 2015. "Fair Revaluation of Wine as an Investment," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 190-203, November.
    7. Massimiliano Castellani & Pierpaolo Pattitoni & Antonello Eugenio Scorcu, 2012. "Visual artist price heterogeneity," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 16-22.

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    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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