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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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The Ongoing Evolution of the Market for American Art

The Ongoing Evolution of the Market for American Art

Chapter:
(p.250) Chapter 8 The Ongoing Evolution of the Market for 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/9780190657895.003.0008

Chapter 8 concludes with both a summary and an analysis of some of the institutions and events surrounding the American art market—investment, auction estimates, artistic productivity, theft, and bubbles. The peculiar aspects of American art seen through a major market conduit for buying and selling art—the auction—are the basis of understanding the unique quality of American art. This art has been “commoditized” as investors increasingly perceive the return possibilities. Additionally, the American art market has never been more vibrant at any time in history. Technology, particularly the Internet, has become a part of the economic process through which buyers and sellers are brought together. Whether giant Coca-Cola bottles, balloon dogs, or all-white paintings are art or not is irrelevant to the economist. These items are bought and sold as art, and a free and open market must include winners and losers.

Keywords:   art market, auction, commoditization, technology, Internet

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