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The Economics of American ArtIssues, Artists and Market Institutions$
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Robert B. Ekelund Jr., John D. Jackson, and Robert D. Tollison

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657895.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2019

The Impact of Death and Bubbles in American Art

The Impact of Death and Bubbles in American Art

Chapter:
(p.208) Chapter 7 The Impact of Death and Bubbles in American Art
Source:
The Economics of American Art
Author(s):

Robert B. Ekelund

John D. Jackson

Robert D. Tollison

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190657895.003.0007

Chapter 7 presents a dissection of two important issues affecting the art market and the fate of artists: “a death effect” and “bubbles.” Death of an artist is a guarantee that additional legitimate output will not be forthcoming, the “Coase durable monopoly conjecture.” Evidence indicates that the price path of seventeen artists who died over the sample period rises as the artist approaches death. After death, price may rise or fall with supply and demand, but we find it rises for our contemporary artists. “Bubbles”—rapid price increases—have and do occur in the art market. We find that art price behavior parallel GDP prior to 2008, but rose much faster thereafter. This result, coupled with an increasingly skewed world income distribution and billionaire buying, potentially denotes an “art price bubble.”

Keywords:   contemporary art, bubble, death effect for artists, Coase conjecture, gross domestic product, Ronald Coase

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