My coverage of Art and Economics in class: 3 main books and several articles from scholarly journals and the popular media

1. James Heilbrun and Charles M. Gray. The Economics of Art and Culture, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press. (abb. HG)

2. Clare McAndrew (ed). Fine Art and High Finance: Expert Advice on the Economics of Ownership. Bloomberg Press. (abb. CM)

3. Don Thompson. The $12 Million Stuffed Shark. The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art. Palgrave Macmillan. (abb. DT)

Players & Environment

  1. “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark.” (DT)
  2. “Branding and Insecurity.” (DT)
  3. “Branded Auctions.” (DT)
  4. “Branded Dealers.” (DT)

How do Economics and Art Intersect

  1. Economic Approach to Aesthetics, Bruno Frey (Bb)
  2. The Arts in the “New Economy”, William Baumol (Bb)
  3. (Optional) The history of Art Markets, Neil de Marchi and Hand J. Van Miegroet, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 3)

Arts Sector Overview and Growth

  1. An overview of the Arts sector (HG Chapter 1)
  2. Growth of the Arts sector (HG Chapter 2)


  1. Audiences for the Arts (HG Ch 3)
  2. Consumer Demand: an Introduction (HG Ch 4)
  3. The Characteristics of Arts Demand and their Implications (HG Ch 5)


  1. LA galleries reframe the recession, LA Times
  2. Art and Money (DT)
  3. Pricing Contemporary Art (DT)

Valuation &   Appraisal

  1. An Introduction to Art and Finance (CM Ch 1)
  2. Art Appraisals: Prices and Valuations (CM Ch 2)

Pricing &   Valuation 

  1. Film 1 : My Kid Could Paint That
  2. Film 2: Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?


  1. Museums (DT)
  2. The Market in the Works of Art (HG Ch 9)
  3. The Economics of Art Museums (HG Ch 10)
  4. Timeline: Museum
  5. Museums and the recession, ArtInfo
  6. (optional). Museum. Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Danny Danziger.
  7. (optional) The Art Museum from Boullee to Bilbao. Andrew McClellan.

Private or Public Funding

  1. Should the government subsidize the arts? (HG Ch. 11)
  2. Public and/or private support for the arts in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe (HG Ch 12)
  3. Public support, Frey (Bb)

Financial Considerations in Art Funding 

  1. The Government and the Art Trade (CM Ch 7)
  2. Art and Taxation in the US (CM Ch 9)
  3. (optional) The making of Cultural Policy: A European Perspective: Frederick Van der Ploeg, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 34)
  4. (optional) Cultural Policy: An American View: Dick Netzer, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 35)

Economic System, Government and Creativity

  1. Creativity, Government, and the Arts (Frey)
  2. Economic Systems and the Arts (PPT lecture)


  1. Art and Artists (DT)
  2. Damien Hirst and the Shark( DT)
  3. Warhol, Koons and Emin (DT)
  4. (optional) Artistic Labor Markets: Contingent Work, Excess Supply and Occupational Risk, Pierre-Michel Menger, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 22)
  5. (optional) Artists’s Careers and their labor markets, Neil Alper and Gregory Wassall, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 23)
  6. (optional) Human Capital and the Artists’ Labor Market, Ruth Towse (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 24)
  7. (optional) Stardom and Talent, Moshe Adler (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 25)
  8. Film 3: Beautiful Losers
  9. Film 4: Exit Through the Gift Shop


  1. Optimal Auction behavior
  2. An English auction in class

Auction houses

  1. Christie’s and Sotheby’s (DT)
  2. Choosing an Auction Hammer (DT)
  3. Auction Psychology (DT)

Price fixing

  1. The Secret World of Auctions (DT)
  2. Auction Houses vs Dealers (DT)
  3. Art Auctions, Orley Ashenfelter and Kathryn Graddy (Bb)
  4. Price Fixing at Auctions, Orley Ashenfelter and Kathryn Graddy (Bb)
  5. (optional) Pictures, Passions and Eye: A Life at Sotheby’s. Michel Strauss.


  1. Art Fakes, Frey (Bb)
  2. Fakes (DT)
  3. The Illegal Art Trade (CM Ch 12)
  4. (optional) The economic Analysis of Art Law, William Landes and Daniel Levine, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 7)
  5. (optional) Copyright, Art and the Internet: Blessing the Curse, Patric Legros, (Ginsburgh and Throsby, Chapter 9)
  6. (optional) Provenance. How a con man and a forger rewrote the history of modern art. Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo.
  7. (optional) Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger. Ken Perenyi.
  8. (optional) The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unresolved Art Theft. Ulrich Boser.

Legal Issues (Copyright, Appropriation, Provenance)

  1. PPT lecture (we’ll discuss various court cases regarding copyright issues)

Returns: A case study 

  1. Failure to meet the reserve price. The impact on returns to art. Beggs and Graddy (Bb)

Art as an Investment 

  1. Art investment returns, Frey and Eichenberger      
  2. Contemporary Art as an Investment (DT)
  3. Art Price Indices (CM Ch 3)

Collecting for the future

  1. Is art market behavior predictable? Olivier Chanel (Bb)
  2. On Pricing the Priceless: Comments on the Economics of the Visual Art Market. Gerard-Varet (Bb)
  3. Sales Rates and Price Movements in Art Auctions, Orley Ashenfelter and Kathryn Graddy (Bb)
  4. (optional). The International Art Markets: The Essential Guide for Collectors and Inverstors. James Goodwin.
  5. Film 5: Herb and Dorothy
  6. Film 6: The Art of the Steal (Barnes vs Philly)

Closing remarks.

  1. End Game (DT)