Narcissism and the Art Market Performance

35 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020

See all articles by Yi Zhou

Yi Zhou

San Francisco State University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 15, 2015


Using a unique auction dataset from, we find that narcissism measured by the signatures of artists is positively associated with the market performance of artworks. The artworks of more narcissistic artists have higher market prices, higher estimates from auction houses, and higher outperformance compared to the art-market index. In support of this narcissistic view of the market performance of art works, we find that the higher recognition by art experts lead to more narcissistic artists having a greater number of solo and group exhibitions, more museum and gallery holdings, and higher art-history rankings. More narcissistic artists also tend to make larger paintings and date their works more frequently.

Keywords: narcissism; art; auctions; investments; hedonic regressions; repeat-sale regressions; human capital

JEL Classification: G02, Z11

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Yi, Narcissism and the Art Market Performance (December 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Yi Zhou (Contact Author)

San Francisco State University ( email )

College of Business
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