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Art Fakes - What Fakes? An Economic View

  • Bruno S. Frey

An economic analysis of fakes differs substantially from the legal and the art historic views which both tend to propose repressive policies against imitations. But there are large economic benefits from copying. In particular, the "propagation effect" yields utility to both consumers and creators of the original. In contrast, the harmful effects of fakes are small and are mitigated by emerging institutions (guarantees, sellers with reputation). The paper suggests "art quotations" (similar to academic quotations) as a beneficial solution to creators of originals and consumers. "Art quotations" are applicable to many art forms.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 014.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:014
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  1. Koboldt, Christian, 1995. "Intellectual Property and Optimal Copyright Protection," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 95-01, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  2. Bruno Frey, 1999. "State Support and Creativity in the Arts: Some New Considerations," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 71-85, March.
  3. Andrew E Burke, 1997. "Legal Structure, Strategic Regulation and Dividing the Spoils from R&D in Intellectual Property," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 9715, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  4. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Counterfeit-Product Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 59-75, March.
  5. Takeyama, Lisa N, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Unauthorized Reproduction of Intellectual Property in the Presence of Demand Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 155-66, June.
  6. Hansmann, Henry & Santilli, Marina, 1997. "Authors' and Artists' Moral Rights: A Comparative Legal and Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 95-143, January.
  7. Pesando, James E, 1993. "Art as an Investment: The Market for Modern Prints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1075-89, December.
  8. Liebowitz, S J, 1985. "Copying and Indirect Appropriability: Photocopying of Journals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 945-57, October.
  9. Victor A. Ginsburgh, 2003. "Art markets," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, chapter 4 Edward Elgar.
  10. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1985. "The Expanding Domain of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(6), pages 53-68, December.
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