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Colors, Emotions, and the Auction Value of Paintings

Ma, Marshall (Xiaoyin), Charles Noussair and Luc Renneboog ()
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Ma, Marshall (Xiaoyin): Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research

No 2019-006, Discussion Paper from Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research

Abstract: We study the impact of colors of paintings on prices in the art auction market and incorporate color attributes of non-figurative paintings in pricing models. A one standard deviation increase in the percentages of blue (red) hue leads to premiums of 10.63% (4.20%). We also conduct laboratory experiments in China, the Netherlands, and U.S., and elicit participants’ willingness-to-pay and emotions (pleasure-arousal). Blue (red) paintings command 18.57% (17.28%) higher bids and stronger intention to purchase. Although abstract art is visually arousing, it is the emotional pleasure channel that relates colors and prices. Our results are consistent across all three cultures.

Keywords: emotion; auction; art investment; cultural economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D44 G02 G11 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-des and nep-exp
Date: 2019
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