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Is gender in the eye of the beholder? Identifying cultural attitudes with art auction prices

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  • Adams, Renée
  • Kräussl, Roman
  • Navone, Marco
  • Verwijmeren, Patrick

Abstract

In the secondary art market, artists play no active role. This allows us to isolate cultural influences on the demand for female artists' work from supply-side factors. Using 1.5 million auction transactions in 45 countries, we document a 47.6% gender discount in auction prices for paintings. The discount is higher in countries with greater gender inequality. In experiments, participants are unable to guess the gender of an artist simply by looking at a painting and they vary in their preferences for paintings associated with female artists. Women's art appears to sell for less because it is made by women.

Suggested Citation

  • Adams, Renée & Kräussl, Roman & Navone, Marco & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2018. "Is gender in the eye of the beholder? Identifying cultural attitudes with art auction prices," CFS Working Paper Series 595, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:595
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David W. Galenson, 2009. "Conceptual Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Art," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gale08-1, March.
    2. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 761-777, August.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:30703974 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Arthur Korteweg & Roman Kräussl & Patrick Verwijmeren, 2016. "Does it Pay to Invest in Art? A Selection-Corrected Returns Perspective," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 1007-1038.
    5. 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.
    6. Tyler Cowen, 1996. "Why women succeed, and fail, in the arts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(2), pages 93-113, June.
    7. Brunella Bruno & Emilia Garcia‐Appendini & Giacomo Nocera, 2018. "Experience and Brokerage in Asset Markets: Evidence from Art Auctions," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 833-864, December.
    8. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    9. Martha J. Bailey & Jason M. Lindo, 2017. "Access and Use of Contraception and Its Effects on Women’s Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Merja Heikkinen & Paula Karhunen, 1996. "Does public support make a difference, and for whom?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(4), pages 341-358, December.
    11. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2016. "Biology and Gender in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10386, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Amy Whitaker & Roman Kräussl, 2020. "Fractional Equity, Blockchain, and the Future of Creative Work," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(10), pages 4594-4611, October.
    2. Laurie Cameron & William N. Goetzmann & Milad Nozari, 2019. "Art and gender: market bias or selection bias?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 43(2), pages 279-307, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Art; Auction; Gender; Culture; Bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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