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Age, Human Capital and the Quality of Work: New Evidence from Old Masters

21 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2009  

John Page

Tulane University - Accounting & Taxation

Thomas Bayer

Tulane University

Yaron Raviv

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Joshua G. Rosett

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: March 14, 2009

Abstract

The links between individual ability, human capital investment, and labor productivity are generally hard to address because productivity is unobservable. We overcome this problem by examining artist productivity as reflected in art auction prices. First, we observe an inverted-U shaped age-quality of work profile similar to the conventional age-wage profile. Second, we find that the degree of concavity increases for those with higher native ability. Third, we find that working for a patron rather than selling directly to the market is associated with a flatter age profile. Fourth, we find evidence that formal education increases the concavity of the age-quality of work profile. These results are consistent with the theory and demonstrate that artists respond to incentives to invest in human capital.

Suggested Citation

Page, John and Bayer, Thomas and Raviv, Yaron and Rosett, Joshua G., Age, Human Capital and the Quality of Work: New Evidence from Old Masters (March 14, 2009). Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 2009-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1364417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1364417

John Page

Tulane University - Accounting & Taxation ( email )

7 McAlister Drive
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Thomas Bayer

Tulane University ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Yaron Raviv (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909-607-7305 (Phone)

Joshua G. Rosett

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909-607-3625 (Phone)
909-621-8249 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/academic/faculty/profile.asp?Fac=372

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