Colors, Emotions, and the Auction Value of Paintings

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-006

72 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2019

See all articles by Marshall (Xiaoyin) Ma

Marshall (Xiaoyin) Ma

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Charles N. Noussair

Tilburg University

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Date Written: February 21, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ma, Marshall (Xiaoyin) and Noussair, Charles N. and Renneboog, Luc, Colors, Emotions, and the Auction Value of Paintings (February 21, 2019). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3339184

Marshall (Xiaoyin) Ma (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

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

Charles N. Noussair

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+13 31 466 8210 (Phone)
+13 31 466 2875 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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