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

Author

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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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    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. Maria Marchenko & Hendrik Sonnabend, 2022. "Artists' labour market and gender: Evidence from German visual artists," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(3), pages 456-471, August.
    3. David, Géraldine & Li, Yuexin & Oosterlinck, Kim & Renneboog, Luc, 2021. "Art in Times of Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 16575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Li, Yuexin & Ma, X. & Renneboog, Luc, 2021. "Pricing Art and the Art of Pricing : On Returns and Risk in Art Auction Markets," Other publications TiSEM 8d25ec25-78dc-4cdc-b054-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Lisa Farrell & Jane M. Fry & Tim R. L. Fry, 2021. "Gender differences in hammer prices for Australian Indigenous art," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 45(1), pages 1-12, March.
    7. Li, Yuexin, 2021. "Pricing art: Returns, trust, and crises," Other publications TiSEM 8832c172-83dd-4ed9-8215-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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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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