Evolution of a Dealer Network and its Effects on Art Auction Prices

De Silva, Dakshina and Gertsberg, Marina and Kosmopoulou, Georgia and Pownall, Rachel A.J. (2022) Evolution of a Dealer Network and its Effects on Art Auction Prices. European Economic Review, 144. ISSN 0014-2921

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We use a unique historical data set (1741-1913) of all London-based art auctions to capture the role of information acquisition in the development of a trading network for dealers and its effect on artwork prices. We explore how the network size, depth of interactions, and similarities in art specialization between trading partners influence the decision to form new links. We find that, a larger and deeper trading network exacerbates informational asymmetries among buyers, leading to a price advantage. We show that information transmission through a network of experienced dealers is important in determining the price they pay - a factor that has been overlooked so far in the literature.

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Journal Article
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European Economic Review
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in European Economic Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in European Economic Review, 144, 104083, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2022.104083
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23 Dec 2021 14:45
Last Modified:
09 Jun 2022 09:25