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

Posted: 10 Dec 2008

See all articles by Nauro F. Campos

Nauro F. Campos

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

Renata Leite Barbosa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2009

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: (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.)

JEL Classification: D44, G11, L12, Z10

Suggested Citation

Campos, Nauro F. and Barbosa, Renata Leite, Paintings and Numbers: An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices, and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions (January 2009). Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 61, Issue 1, pp. 28-51, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1311714 or http://dx.doi.org/gpn020

Nauro F. Campos (Contact Author)

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

Renata Leite Barbosa

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
603
PlumX Metrics