The catalogue raisonné and art auction prices: The case of Berthe Morisot

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Abstract

The relation between the authentication source for artworks, the catalogue raisonné, and art prices is examined. Catalogue raisonné information such as the illustration page space allocated to each artwork and the use of color illustrations and plates in publications are viewed as measures of the quality or importance of artworks and hence may relate to prices. Empirically, instrumental variables sample selection models are used for the analysis of art auction data which recognizes non-sales and the measurement error associated with using catalogue raisonné information as measures of latent quality or importance. The approach is applied to oil painting auction data for the late nineteenth-century impressionist Berthe Morisot. After controlling for the effects of exhibitions, cited literature, painting size, the use of color, signed paintings, presence of females, early career paintings and fixed auction year effects on prices, the illustration page space allocated to a painting is found to importantly relate to prices for a catalogue raisonné of Berthe Morisot.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1687
Number of pages19
JournalEmpirical Economics
Volume61
Issue number3
Early online date03 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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