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

40 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

See all articles by Renata Leite Barbosa

Renata Leite Barbosa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nauro F. Campos

University College London; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

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: (1) the reputation of an artist and the provenance of the artwork, omitted variables in most previous studies, seem to be more important determinants of the sale price of a painting than standard factors, such as medium and size, (2) the opinion of art experts seems to be of limited use in predicting whether or not an artwork sells at auction, (3) 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 (4) there is strong evidence in our data for the declining price anomaly, or "afternoon effect."

Keywords: art auctions, declining price anomaly, Latin American art, masterpiece effect

JEL Classification: D44, G11, L12, Z10

Suggested Citation

Barbosa, Renata Leite and Campos, Nauro F., Paintings and Numbers: An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions (April 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6806, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1143169

Renata Leite Barbosa (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Nauro F. Campos

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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