The Economics of Aesthetics and Record Prices for Art since 1701
38 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 18 Jan 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2015
Aggregate art price patterns mask a lot of underlying variation — both in the time series and in the cross-section. We argue that, to increase our understanding of the market for aesthetics, it is helpful to take a micro perspective on the formation of art prices, and acknowledge that each artwork gives rise to a market for trading in its private-value benefits. We discuss relevant recent literature, and illustrate the potential of this approach through a historical study of record prices for art at auction since 1701.
Keywords: art; auctions; price formation; price indexes; private values; record prices
JEL Classification: D10; D44; D84; G10; Z11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation