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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)

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Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions

Article Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley, and Kathryn Graddy. 2011. "Sale Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions." American Economic Review, 101(3): 212-16.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.212

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between sale rates and price shocks in art auctions. Using data on contemporary and impressionist art, we show that while sale rates appear to have little relationship to current prices, there exists a strong negative relationship of sale rates to unexpected price shocks, which is reminiscent of a Phillips curve. We estimate an empirical model that suggests that the reserve price is set on average at about 70% of the low estimate.

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Authors

Ashenfelter, Orley (Princeton U)
Graddy, Kathryn (Brandeis U)

JEL Classifications

D44: Auctions
Z11: Cultural Economics: Economics of the Arts and Literature


American Economic Review


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