Paintings and Numbers:
        An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions

        with Renata Leite Barbosa

        Published in Oxford Economic Papers Vol 61 Issue 1 (January 2009), pp. 28–51  ( pdf )

        This paper uses a unique data set of Latin American paintings auctioned by Sotheby's between 1995 and 2002
        to investigate several puzzles from the recent auctions literature. Our results suggest that: (i) the reputation of an artist
        and the provenance of the artwork, often omitted variables in previous studies, seem to be more important determinants
        of the sale price of a painting than more standard factors, such as medium and size, (ii) the opinion of art experts seems
        to be of limited use in predicting whether or not an artwork sells at auction, (iii) there is little supporting evidence for the
        widespread notion that the best or more expensive artworks tend to generate above average returns (the “masterpiece
        effect”), although (iv) there is strong evidence in our data for the declining price anomaly or “afternoon effect” (that is, when
        heterogeneous products sold sequentially follow a decreasing pattern of prices.)

         Download working paper version:       IZA DP           CEPR DP

        Pictures at An Exhibition

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