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Sale rates and price movements in art auctions

Author: Orley Ashenfelter; Kathryn Jo Graddy; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2011.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 16743.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The failure of many paintings to sell in art auctions indicates the presence of reserve prices set by sellers. This paper examines the relationship between sale rates and price surprises over time 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 positive relationship of sale rates to unexpected  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Ashenfelter, Orley, 1942-
Sale rates and price movements in art auctions.
Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2011
(DLC) 2011655964
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Orley Ashenfelter; Kathryn Jo Graddy; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 699513410
Description: 1 online resource (13 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 16743.
Responsibility: Orley C. Ashenfelter, Kathryn Graddy.

Abstract:

The failure of many paintings to sell in art auctions indicates the presence of reserve prices set by sellers. This paper examines the relationship between sale rates and price surprises over time 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 positive relationship of sale rates to unexpected aggregate price changes, which is reminiscent of a Phillips curve. As a result, sale rates provide a useful quantity indicator of the strength of the art market. The data also indicate that sale rates revert to "normal" very quickly following a price surprise. We estimate an empirical model to measure normal sale rates. We also find evidence that the reserve price is set on average at about 70% of the auctioneer's low estimate, as published in the auction catalog.

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