Art, as any form of creativity, advances through innovations. But what is the cause of new artistic ideas? What can art history tell us about the relationship between demand and innovation? This column argues that during the Renaissance, it was demand for art – and entrepreneurial painters seeking to profit – that drove greats such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Canaletto to innovate.
Federico Etro, 30 November 2012
Federico Etro, 23 December 2011
To some, the world of art and world of economics are diametrically opposed. To others, such as the author of this column, they are part of the same. This column looks at the wages of painters during the 17th century Baroque art movement and asks what insights it can provide for art lovers, economists, and those who consider themselves both.
Federico Etro, 04 November 2010
Looking at the contracts for large oil paintings in Italy (1550-1750), this column finds evidence of strong competition between painters. Contracts were structured to address moral hazard problems, and prices closely reflected demand and supply conditions in an integrated market.
David Galenson, 04 July 2009
The art of the past century was radically different from earlier art. This column says that that was a direct result of a basic change in the structure of the market for advanced art that occurred during the late nineteenth century. Indeed, contemporary art is the logical result of young conceptual innovators operating in a competitive market that has consistently rewarded radical and conspicuous innovation.
Elizabeth Currid, 03 July 2009
Elizabeth Currid of the University of Southern California talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about her book, The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City, which describes the inner workings of New York’s creative industries, the significant economic value they generate and the implications for policy-makers wanting to foster their own cultural economies. The interview was recorded in London in June 2009
Nauro Campos, 03 May 2008
Art auctions are a testing ground for economic theory. This column summarises recent research that uses extensive data on works of Latin American art to study auction outcomes. Most puzzlingly, there is a persistent “afternoon effect,” in which identical goods auctioned later command lower prices.