Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Art of Democracy

Democracy and economic outcomes: Evidence from the superstars of modern art 

Christiane Hellmanzik,  European Journal of Political Economy,
June 2013, Pages 58–69

Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the political environment on the value of artistic outcomes as measured by the price of paintings produced over the period from 1820 to 2007. The analysis is based on a unique dataset encompassing a global sample of 273 superstars of modern art born between 1800 and 1945, auction results of their paintings, and data on the political environment in the respective production countries. Controlling for a variety of economic and hedonic variables, there is a statistically significant, positive link between the level of democracy and the value of artistic output. Moreover, we find that democracy has a significant positive impact both on the density of superstar painters and the collective artistic human capital in a country.

Nod to Kevin Lewis

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