The Economics of Aesthetics and Three Centuries of Art Price Records

26 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2014 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014

See all articles by William N. Goetzmann

William N. Goetzmann

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elena Mamonova

Independent

Christophe Spaenjers

HEC Paris - Finance Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

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 art price records between 1701 and 2014. Our newly constructed series also points to the importance of developments in the industrial organization of the art market for long-term price trends.

Suggested Citation

Goetzmann, William N. and Mamonova, Elena and Spaenjers, Christophe, The Economics of Aesthetics and Three Centuries of Art Price Records (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20440. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2490847

William N. Goetzmann (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Elena Mamonova

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Christophe Spaenjers

HEC Paris - Finance Department ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

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