Evolution of a Dealer Trading Network and its Effects on Art Auction Prices

Dakshina De Silva*, Marina Gertsberg, Georgia Kosmopoulou, Rachel A.J. Pownall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We use a unique historical data set (1741-1913) of all London-based art auctions to capture the role of information acquisition in the development of a trading network for dealers and its effect on artwork prices. We explore how the network size, depth of interactions, and similarities in art specialization between trading partners influence the decision to form new links. We find that, a larger and deeper trading network exacerbates informational asymmetries among buyers, leading to a price advantage. We show that information transmission through a network of experienced dealers is important in determining the price they pay - a factor that has been overlooked so far in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104083
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

JEL classifications

  • d44 - Auctions
  • d82 - "Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design"
  • l14 - "Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation; Networks"

Keywords

  • art dealers
  • trading networks

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