Market evolution of art dealers

Dakshina G. De Silva, Marina Gertsberg, Rachel Pownall

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper


Using a unique historical data set, we show the value of expertise and reputation during the evolution of the art market. First, we illustrate how market dynamics encourage the entry of dealers with heterogeneous characteristics. Second, our results provide evidence that relatively larger dealers pay about 21% more for an artwork of the same quality than smaller dealers as a result of their accumulated experience and reputation. Third, our results indicate that larger dealers are more likely to survive in the market. Our evidence outlines the importance of the accumulation of market power in an emerging market characterized by uncertainty and heterogeneity. These results have important implications for maintaining and sustaining competitive advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - 2017

JEL classifications

  • l11 - "Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms"
  • d44 - Auctions
  • z11 - Cultural Economics: Economics of the Arts and Literature
  • d47 - Market Design


  • Auctions
  • art dealers
  • market evolution
  • reputation
  • experts

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