An empirical analysis of price differences for male and female artists in the global art market
Bocart, F.Y.R.P., Gertsberg, M. & Pownall, R.A.J. An empirical analysis of price differences for male and female artists in the global art market. J Cult Econ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10824-020-09403-2
23 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2020 Last revised: 20 May 2021
Date Written: August 27, 2018
We study prices paid at auction for artworks created by male and female artists, based on birth-identified sex, and how these prices have evolved over time. Artworks produced by female artists comprise less than 4% of art auction sales; after controlling for artwork characteristics, we find that artworks by female artists are 4.4% more expensive than artworks by male artists. In the top echelon of the art market—for sales above $1 million—artworks by male artists sell for 18.4% more than by female artists. The top 40 artists represent 40% of total market share; no female artist makes the top 40 ranking of artists in terms of total sales value at auction in the period under study, 2000–2017. However, for contemporary artists, our empirical results show that works by male artists sell for 8.3% more than their female counterparts. Overall, this study highlights significant price differences across birth-identified sex in the secondary market for fine art.
Keywords: Art market, Auctions, Gender economics, Labour economics
JEL Classification: J24, J31, J71, Z11
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