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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Art-Economic aspects., Art, Chinese-21st century-Prices, Economics of art, Art market, Alternative investment, Chinese contemporary art, Hedonic model


This study investigates the determinants of art value for the current ten highest priced Chinese contemporary artists and the performance of the submarket for these top ten artists from 2000 to 2011. I compile a data set which contains auction transactions of works by the top ten artists sold by major auction houses over the past eleven years. Using a hedonic regression analysis, the results show that factors such as size of artworks, medium, reputation of auction houses, period of creation, season of auction sales, reputation of artists, and years all significantly affect art price. The hedonic price index further indicates that the art submarket has on average appreciated annually in value by 31.20%, in real RMB terms, during this period. A general risk and return analysis using the Sharpe ratio suggests that the submarket for the ten highest priced Chinese contemporary artists has outperformed other assets, equities and real estate in the past eleven years.




44 p. : col. ill. Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 43-44)