Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 317–348 | Cite as

Entry of painters in the Amsterdam market of the Golden Age

Regular Article

Abstract

We analyze the evolution of the entry of painters and price of paintings in the XVII century Amsterdam art market. In line with evolutionary theory, demand-driven entry in the market was first associated with product innovations and a rapid increase in the number of painters. After reaching a peak, the number of painters started to decrease in parallel with a price decline and the introduction of process innovations. To test for the role of profitability in the art market as a determinant of endogenous entry of painters, we build a price index for the representative painting inventoried in Dutch houses. This is based on hedonic regressions controlling for characteristics of the paintings (size, genre, placement in the house), the owners (job, religion, value of the collection, size of the house) and the painters. After a peak at the beginning of the century, the real price of paintings decreased until the end of the century. We provide anecdotal evidence for which high initial prices attracted entry of innovators, and econometric evidence on the causal relation between price movements and entry.

Keywords

Art market Endogenous entry Dutch golden age Hedonic prices VAR analysis 

JEL Classification

Z11 N0 D4 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Karol Jan Borowiecki, Roberto Casarin, Giovanni Dosi, Kathryn Graddy, Neil De Marchi, Bruno Frey, Alessandro Nuvolari and Paul Richard Sharp for comments and especially to Mario Padula for initial participation to the project and many invaluable suggestions. The paper was presented at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Finally, Etro is thankful to Louisa Wood Ruby, Head of Photoarchive Research at the Frick Collection (New York).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Venice Ca’ FoscariVeniceItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Economics and ManagementSant’Anna School of Advanced StudiesPisaItaly

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