Age-Price Profiles for Canadian Painters at Auction

26 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2011

See all articles by Douglas J. Hodgson

Douglas J. Hodgson

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 31, 2011


We conduct an empirical analysis of the effect on the auction price of a Canadian painting of the age of the painter at the time of creation of the painting. We consider several hundred artists, active over the entire history of Canadian art, who are pooled in the estimation of a hedonic regression in which a polynomial function in age enters as a regressor along with several other control variables. We then consider the possibility that the age-price relationship has changed over time by: (a) estimating separate age-price functions for three generational groups of artists - those born before 1880, between 1880 and 1920, and after 1920 and thus coming of age in the world of post-war "contemporary art;" and (b) estimating a parameterization where the shape of the age-price profile is permitted to change continuously depending on the year of birth of the artist. Our principal result is that artists born more recently tend to "peak" earlier in their careers than those of previous generations. As pertaining to artists born after 1920, this result is consistent with the findings of Galenson (2000) for modern American painters, but we find that the phenemenon applies over longer periods of art history.

Keywords: Auction, Age-price profiles, Canadian painting, hedonic regression

Suggested Citation

Hodgson, Douglas J., Age-Price Profiles for Canadian Painters at Auction (January 31, 2011). CIRANO - Scientific Publications No. 2011s-15, Available at SSRN: or

Douglas J. Hodgson (Contact Author)

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8

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