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
Spaenjers, Christophe and Goetzmann, William N. and Mamonova, Elena, The Economics of Aesthetics and Record Prices for Art since 1701 (March 1, 2015). Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 57, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2478687