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Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 298-299

18. Juni 2020

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Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 298, 2020

Peer Effects in Art Prices

Marchenko, Maria

Abstract: Art often serves as an investment tool. However, the prices for some of the pieces are not easy to predict, and removing the price uncertainty is crucial to attracting even more investment in the art market. This paper assumes that the reputation of the artists and their social connections can play a significant role in determining the prices of their work. I check if a link to a higher valued or more famous peer has a positive effect on the prices of art pieces and on the probability of a successful sale. To test this hypothesis, I use the network of abstract artists, whose works' value is not always straightforward determined, and the prices of their works auctioned in 2000-2015 at Sotheby's, one of the most significant art and collectibles brokers in the world. The results suggest that consumers are willing to pay more for a particular artist's work, once there is a connection between the artist and a more valuable set of peers. However, the probability of sale is not affected. The auctioneer's predictions about future prices exhibit a similar trend.

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Department of Economics Working Paper Series, 299, 2020

Tracking Owners’ Sentiments: Subjective Home Values, Expectations and House Price Dynamics

Lepinteur, Anthony; Waltl, Sofie R.

Abstract: Economic theory predicts that expectations on future house price growth are related to the current price of a house. We test this relationship for the supply side of the secondary housing market using micro data that links individual expectations to a subjective owner estimated value (OEV). We find a strong causal relationship that optimistic expectations indeed imply higher OEVs as compared to neutral or pessimistic expectations. We find qualitatively and quantitatively consistent results for Italy and the US as well as for booming and gloomy years. Our results survive ample robustness checks. Since we use subjective data on house prices, we first show that OEVs are indeed a valid source to study house price dynamics by performing three types of convergent validity tests. We find that price dynamics derived by either combining OEVs and dwelling characteristics, or making use of repeatedly provided OEVs by the same owner over time reproduce objectively measured market trends strikingly well – even over decades. In contrast, OEVs and objective data tend to differ in levels – potentially due to psychological bias. These results hold for a large set of countries. We hence conclude that the "wisdom of the home-owner crowd" is sufficient to study house price dynamics but OEVs are less suited for measuring the level of market prices.

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