Reproductions in Art

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


The economic approach to art and culture takes a rather positive attitude towards copies, reproductions, and fakes. In contrast, the art-historical view tends to regard them in a negative way. The multiplication of the original creates utility for individuals demanding and paying for replicas. However, forgeries do create some problems. Significant costs are created on both the demand and supply sides of a market by both originals and copies. But many such problems can be mitigated or even overcome by appropriate legal constructs and institutional arrangements.


Copies Reproductions Fakes Forgeries Moral view Legal view Originals Art history Recognition 

Related Literature

General accounts of copies, reproductions, and fakes in the arts are provided in

  1. Dutton D (1983) The forger’s art: forgery and the philosophy of art. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  2. Hamilton C (1980) Great forgers and famous fakes: the manuscript forgers of America and how they duped the experts. Crown Publishers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Jones M (ed) (1990) Fake? The art of deception. British Museum Press, LondonGoogle Scholar

Economic analyses are provided by

  1. Benhamou F, Ginsburgh V (1998) Is there a market for copies? In: Mossetto G, Vecco M (eds) The economics of copying and counterfeiting. Franco Angeli, MilanoGoogle Scholar
  2. Deardorff AV (1995) The appropriate extent of intellectual property rights in art. J Cult Econ 19(2):119–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Greffe X (1998) Intellectual property right in the digital age. In: Mossetto G, Vecco M (eds) The economics of copying and counterfeiting. Franco Angeli, MilanoGoogle Scholar
  4. Hansman H, Santilli M (1997) Authors’ and artists’ moral rights: a comparative legal and economic analysis. J Legal Stud 26(2):95–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Koboldt C (1995) Intellectual property and optimal copyright protection. J Cult Econ 19(2):131–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pommerehne WW, Granica MJ (1995) Perfect reproduction of works of art: substitutes or heresy? J Cult Econ 19(3):237–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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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