Experience and Brokerage in Asset Markets: Evidence from Art Auctions
42 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 15, 2016
Focusing on the art market, where auction houses act as brokers between art sellers and buyers, we investigate whether more experienced brokers achieve better performance as information providers. We use a unique data set of auctions of Italian paintings in various houses around the world, and we measure experience as the number of times an auctioneer has auctioned the artworks of a certain artist in a given location. We find that more experienced auction houses (i) are more likely to sell and (ii) provide more precise pre-sale estimates. These findings suggest that experience plays an important role for brokers to reduce illiquidity and opacity in markets with asymmetric information.
Keywords: Brokerage, information, experience, art auctions
JEL Classification: G24, D44, D82, Z11.
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