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Art as a Wartime Investment: Conspicuous Consumption and Discretion

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  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

During World War II, artworks significantly outperformed all alternative investments in Occupied France. With the surge in demand for portable and easy-to-hide (discreet) assets such as artworks and collectible stamps, prices boomed. This suggests that discreet assets may be viewed as crypto-currencies, demand for which varies depending on the environment and the need to hide value. Regarding art market valuation, this article argues that while some economic actors derive significant utility from conspicuous consumption, others value the discretion offered by artworks. Motives for purchasing art may thus vary over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Oosterlinck, 2017. "Art as a Wartime Investment: Conspicuous Consumption and Discretion," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/232458, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/232458
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim Oosterlinck & Anne-Sophie Radermecker, 2018. "The Master of …”: Creating Names for Art History and the Art Market," Working Papers CEB 18-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Daniel Levy & Avichai Snir, 2018. "Here Lives a Wealthy Man: Price Rigidity and Predictability in Luxury Housing Markets," Emory Economics 1802, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    3. Georges Gallais-Hamonno & Thi-hong-van Hoang & Kim Oosterlinck, 2016. "Price Formation on Clandestine Markets: The Case of the Paris Gold Market during WWII," Working Papers CEB 16-048, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • 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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