The Value Added by Arts Experts: The Case of Klaus Ertz and Pieter Brueghel the Younger
30 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2017
This paper investigates the impact of an art expert's opinion on the market price for Old Master Paintings. We focus on the case of Pieter Brueghel the Younger, a painter who massively reproduced the works of his well-known father Pieter Bruegel the Elder, after being in turn abundantly copied. In the late 1990s, leading expert Klaus Ertz curated an itinerant exhibition dedicated to the artist and published a catalogue raisonne' in 2000 to clarify attributions. We collected the sales of his paintings (autograph) as well as those from his atelier and followers (non-autograph) over the period 1972-2015. Using both difference-in-difference and instrumental variable techniques, we establish that Ertz's expertise had a significant effect on the prices of autograph works, since buyers were willing to pay roughly 60 percent more for works considered autograph after the late 1990s.
Keywords: Brueghel family, exhibitions, catalogue raisonné, prices, diff-in-diffs identification
JEL Classification: C59, Z11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation