Some Unanswered Questions in the Economics of Art

  • Leslie P. Singer
Conference paper


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.


Utility Function Capital Gain Indifference Curve Cultural Economic Existential Question 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie P. Singer
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University NorthwestUSA

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