21 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 14, 2009
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: 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