Art investment: hedging or safe haven through financial crises

  • Belma ÖztürkkalEmail author
  • Aslı Togan-Eğrican
Original Article


We analyze long-term art auction sales data focusing on and around financial crisis periods with other investment returns to understand whether art can be considered a safe haven during volatile times or a hedging option in general by analyzing art auction data in a volatile emerging market. Our findings suggest Turkish art returns are either negatively correlated or at low correlation with other investments, including the equity market. We have the view that art can be considered a hedging mechanism on average to enhance returns and to decrease the risk of portfolios and improve diversification. However, we do not discard the safe-haven hypothesis, either. Although the auction data on the crisis period is limited, results of and around crisis periods show art returns are positively correlated with various volatility indices. In addition, the number of art transactions also increases after the crisis years, which may be a sign of liquidity requirement of some investors and an opportunity for buyers. The benefit is visible especially during years of contractions, which do not end with a very severe crisis, since the art auction market liquidity dries if the crisis is severe.


Art market Hedonic price index Portfolio choice Financial crises Emerging markets Investment Risk Hedging Diversification 

JEL Classification

G1 G11 G15  Z11 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Raffi Portakal for providing the database, Miss Ezgi Ariduru, Ph.D. student Sinan Tasliklioglu for the digital transformation of the database, Professor Nurhan Davutyan for his comments and two anonymous referees of Journal of Cultural Economics for their helpful and constructive comments that greatly contributed to improving the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest, they received no Grant for this work and this study complies with ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Trade and Finance, Faculty of ManagementKadir Has UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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