Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 247–261 | Cite as

Two games in town: a comparison of dealer and auction prices in contemporary visual arts markets

  • Michael HutterEmail author
  • Christian Knebel
  • Gunnar Pietzner
  • Maren Schäfer
Original Article


The article tests a couple of hypotheses relating to markets where demand is not taken as a given, but subject to sophisticated and encompassing price-building strategies. The study uses a data set that provides quoted dealer prices for medium-sized works of 100 leading visual artists from 1970 to 2004. These data are compared with auction price results for works by the same artists. The study reports significant discrepancies with respect to the relationship between the age of artists and prices paid for their works in the two markets, and with respect to general price developments in the two markets as measured by indices.


Markets for visual art Dealer and auction market price indices Valuation Pricing process 

JEL Classification

D44 Z11 



The authors would like to thank Ariane Berthoin Antal, Bernd Frick, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, and two anonymous referees for their comments and remarks.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hutter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Knebel
    • 1
  • Gunnar Pietzner
    • 1
  • Maren Schäfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Management and EconomicsWitten/Herdecke UniversityWittenGermany

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