Colors, Emotions, and the Auction Value of Paintings
CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-006
72 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 21, 2019
We study the impact of colors of paintings on prices in the art auction market and incorporate color attributes of non-figurative paintings in pricing models. A one standard deviation increase in the percentages of blue (red) hue leads to premiums of 10.63% (4.20%). We also conduct laboratory experiments in China, the Netherlands, and U.S., and elicit participants’ willingness-to-pay and emotions (pleasure-arousal). Blue (red) paintings command 18.57% (17.28%) higher bids and stronger intention to purchase. Although abstract art is visually arousing, it is the emotional pleasure channel that relates colors and prices. Our results are consistent across all three cultures.
Keywords: Emotion, Auction, Art Investment, Cultural Economics
JEL Classification: C91, D44, G02, G11, Z11
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