Art Markets and Auctions

  • Bruno S. FreyEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Economics book series (BRIEFSECONOMICS)


Art uses labour and capital. These resources are scarce. As a result, opportunity costs arise. Cultural consumers have to make a choice between various supplies of art. In a well-functioning market, supply and demand balance. Art markets, in particular auctions, are characterized by large risks that rarely exist in other markets. These relate to authenticity, attribution, quality, and theft. Some unexpected market changes may also occur. Behavioural anomalies such as ownership bias and home bias are prominent. Investment in art diversifies a portfolio. The most sensible strategy is to buy for love of art.


Cultural consumers Opportunity cost Market-makers Auctions Record prices Risk Authenticity Attribution Quality Theft Behavioural anomalies Diversification Taxation Money laundering 

Related Literature

This chapter is partly based on

  1. Frey BS, Cueni R (2014) Special risks in the art market. Unpublished ms, University of ZurichGoogle Scholar

A pathbreaking contribution is

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Various contributions on art markets and auctions are included in the textbooks and handbooks listed in the first chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CREW - Center for Research in Economics and Well-BeingUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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