Rising Stars, Superstars and Dying Stars: Hedonic Explorations of Autograph Prices
Key studies have explored the economics of rising stars, superstars and ‘has beens’, but relatively little economic literature exists on the associated parallel memorabilia markets. Using a random sample of 1151 pieces of autographed artefacts, on sale through a retail and internet outlet, hedonic analysis is undertaken to elicit significant characteristics in price determination. The data principally consists of autographs of past and current cultural icons along with some sporting and historical figures. We explore, inter alia, price differences with respect to ‘dead’ or ‘alive’ signatories, gender, sphere of fame, nationality, the age of the signatory and the nature of the artefact on which the signature is written. Alternative model specifications have been explored and compared. A notable difference emerges between those autographs with photographs and those without. There are also differences in prices according to whether individuals had been famous for their roles in just films, just television, or in both.
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