Is Gender in the Eye of the Beholder? Identifying Cultural Attitudes with Art Auction Prices

60 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2020

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford

Roman Kräussl

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass); Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Marco A. Navone

Finance Discipline Group - UTS Business School; Bocconi University - CAREFIN - Centre for Applied Research in Finance; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Patrick Verwijmeren

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Date Written: December 6, 2017

Abstract

In the secondary art market, artists play no active role. This allows us to isolate cultural influences on the demand for female artists’ work from supply-side factors. Using 1.5 million auction transactions in 45 countries, we document a 47.6% gender discount in auction prices for paintings. The discount is higher in countries with greater gender inequality. In experiments, participants are unable to guess the gender of an artist simply by looking at a painting and they vary in their preferences for paintings associated with female artists. Women's art appears to sell for less because it is made by women.

Keywords: Art, Auction, Gender, Culture, Inequality

JEL Classification: Z11, J16, D44

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Kraeussl, Roman and Navone, Marco A. and Verwijmeren, Patrick, Is Gender in the Eye of the Beholder? Identifying Cultural Attitudes with Art Auction Prices (December 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3083500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3083500

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Roman Kraeussl

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) ( email )

Hoover Institution, Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Marco A. Navone

Finance Discipline Group - UTS Business School ( email )

Haymarket
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

Bocconi University - CAREFIN - Centre for Applied Research in Finance

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, 20136
Italy

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

Patrick Verwijmeren

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

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