nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒04‒29
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Demand Distribution Dynamics in Creative Industries: the Market for Books in Italy By Edoardo Gaffeo; Antonello E. Scorci; Laura Vici
  2. Paintings and Numbers: An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions By Barbosa, Renata Leite; Campos, Nauro F

  1. By: Edoardo Gaffeo; Antonello E. Scorci; Laura Vici
    Abstract: We studied the distribution dynamics of the demand for books in Italy. We found that for each of the three broad sub-markets into which the book publishing industry can be classified - Italian novels, foreign novels and non-fiction - sales over a three-year sample can be adequately fitted by a power law distribution. Our results can be plausibly interpreted in terms of a model of interactions among buyers exchanging information on the books they buy.
    Keywords: Book publishing industry; Information transmission; Power law distribution
    JEL: L82 Z1
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Barbosa, Renata Leite; Campos, Nauro F
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique data set of Latin American paintings auctioned by Sotheby's between 1995 and 2002 to investigate several puzzles from the recent auctions literature. Our results suggest that: (1) the reputation of an artist and the provenance of the artwork, omitted variables in most previous studies, seem to be more important determinants of the sale price of a painting than standard factors, such as medium and size, (2) the opinion of art experts seems to be of limited use in predicting whether or not an artwork sells at auction, (3) there is little supporting evidence for the widespread notion that the best or more expensive artworks tend to generate above average returns (the "masterpiece effect"), although (4) there is strong evidence in our data for the declining price anomaly, or "afternoon effect."
    Keywords: art auctions; declining price anomaly; Latin American art; masterpiece effect
    JEL: D44 G11 L12 Z10
    Date: 2008–04

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