nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Does nudity sell? An econometric analysis of the value of female nudity in Modigliani portraits By Alessia Crotta; Filip Vermeylen
  2. An analysis of the efficiency of Italian museums using a generalised conditional efficiency model By Calogero Guccio; Marco Martorana; Isidoro Mazza; Giacomo Pignataro; Ilde Rizzo

  1. By: Alessia Crotta (Arts and Culture Studies department, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Filip Vermeylen (Arts and Culture Studies department, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Of the four most expensive works of art ever auctioned, three are portraits of nude women (ArtPrice, 2018). Of these three female nudes, two were painted by Amedeo Modigliani. In light of this artist’s contribution to the conceptualisation of female nudity in modern art, our paper examines to what extent the presence of female nudity influences the economic value of his portraits. Based on the significance the existing art-historical literature bestows on female nudity in western painting, we examine whether the artistic importance of this genre correlates to its economic value. This research offers a quantitative evaluation of the female nude in the art market. By employing hedonic regression, we are able to analyse whether the presence of female nudity affects the price that these paintings achieve at auctions. The sample, collected primarily from ArtPrice, consists in 924 sales of Modigliani paintings and drawings. The research confirms that nudity has a positive and relevant influence on the determination of the hammer and estimated prices. Although limited in generalisability, the research assesses that particular aspects relative to the aesthetic value of art are reflected in its economic value, at least in the case of Modigliani.
    Keywords: art market; art auctions; economic value; artistic value; Amedeo Modigliani
    JEL: Z1
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Calogero Guccio (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Marco Martorana (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Isidoro Mazza (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Giacomo Pignataro (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Ilde Rizzo (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania)
    Abstract: Museums are among the most relevant cultural institutions and assume a central role from the cultural and the economic perspectives in a country having an outstanding cultural heritage, such as Italy, which makes the evaluation of their efficiency of primary importance. However, so far, the literature evaluating museums’ efficiency has often neglected the distinction between outputs under the direct control of museums and outcomes, which depend on users’ involvement, thus providing incorrect conclusions on museums’ performance. In this paper, we employ a generalised conditional efficiency model to assess the true efficiency of Italian museums, i.e. the efficiency in the provision of museums’ service potential, and to consistently deal with the impact on the efficiency of the socio-demographic and institutional environment in which museums operate. Results show that the operational environment matters. Among other aspects, conditional estimates suggest that higher income levels and larger hospitality sectors positively influence museums efficiency.
    Keywords: Cultural heritage; Museums; technical efficiency; Non-parametric Frontier; FDH; Conditonal estimates.
    JEL: Z1 C14 C61 I21
    Date: 2019–12

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