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Rising Stars, Superstars and Dying Stars: Hedonic Explorations of Autograph Prices


  • Alan Collins

    () (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth)

  • Richard O'Doherty

    (School of Economics, University of the West of England)

  • Martin C. Snell

    () (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Collins & Richard O'Doherty & Martin C. Snell, 2006. "Rising Stars, Superstars and Dying Stars: Hedonic Explorations of Autograph Prices," Working Papers 0603, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:0603

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Charles Pradier & François Gardes & Xavier Greffe & Ileana Miranda Mendoza, 2016. "Autographs and the global art market: the case of hedonic prices for French autographs (1960–2005)," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(4), pages 453-485, November.
    2. Ileana Miranda Mendoza & François Gardes & Xavier Greffe & Pierre-Charles Pradier, 2014. "Are autographs integrating the global art market? The case of hedonic prices for French autographs (1960-2005)," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14053, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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