Some Unanswered Questions in the Economics of Art
In reviewing the literature on the economics of the visual arts, I find several questions unanswered or, at least in my opinion, the answers given are unsatisfactory. First is the existential question of why is there art instead of no art. Second is the question of what is art. Is it a decoration, a commodity, an asset or an investment good? Is art a public good, the national patrimony? This is the question of why rational consumers appear to acquire more art when prices rise, even though it has been demonstrated that capital gains on art, in the long run, lag behind returns on alternative investments.
KeywordsIncome Arena Baumol
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baumol, W. (1986) “Unnatural Value: Art Investments as a Floating Crap Game”, American Economic Review, 76, May, pp. 10–14.Google Scholar
- Farmer, R E.A. (1990) “Rince Preferences”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 55, February, pp. 43–60.Google Scholar
- Grampp, W. (1989) Pricing the Priceless, Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
- Jorgenson, D.W. and Slesnick, D.T. (1984) “Aggregate Consumer Behaviour and the Measurement of Inequality”, The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 51, July, pp. 369–392.Google Scholar
- Lucas, R.E. and Stokey, N. (1984) “Optimal Growth with Many Consumers”, Journal of Economic Theory, Vol. 32, December, pp. 139–171.Google Scholar
- Singer, L. (1978) “Microeconomics of the Art Markets”, Journal of Cultural Economics, Vol. 2, December, pp. 21–39.Google Scholar
- Singer, L. (1988) “Fundamentals Determine Value in Art”, Art Business Review, January.Google Scholar
- Singer, L. (1990) “The Utility of Art V.S. Fair Bets in the Investment Market”, Journal of Cultural Economics, Vol. 14, December, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
- Streufert, P.A. (1990) “Stationary Recursive Utility and Dynamic Programming Under the Assumption of Biconvergence”, The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 57, January, pp. 79–98.Google Scholar
- Suen, W. (1990) “Statistical Models of Consumer Behavior with Heterogeneous Values and Constraints”, Economic Inquiry, Vol. 28, January, pp. 79–98.Google Scholar
- Takayama, A. (1974) Mathematical Economics, Dryden Press, Hinsdale, Ill.Google Scholar