Posthumous trading patterns affecting artwork prices

Rachel Pownall, Dakshina De Silva*, Georgia Kosmopoulou, Robert Press

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


This study aims to identify factors contributing to price fluctuations in artworks after an artist’s death. With access to information on seller characteristics from a historic- al dataset of all art auctions that took place in London between 1741 and 1913, we in- vestigate how trading patterns and network effects at auctions affect art sales prices. Following an artist’s death, we capture dynamic effects in sales patterns and find that prices decline by 7%. We attribute this decline on the confluence of non-stra- tegic and strategic effects, first on a frequent lack of access to professional consult- ation and secondly on changes in trading patterns of art dealers posthumously. Our results highlight the long-term influence of those factors on high valued art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-472
Number of pages20
JournalOxford Economic Papers-New Series
Issue number2
Early online date27 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • D44
  • L14
  • ART

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