Среди моих интересов особое место занимает экономическая история – думаю, по блогу это понятно. Кроме того, с недавних пор меня заинтересовала экономика мира искусства (толчком к возникновению интереса послужило непонимание работы индустрии современного искусства на фоне отсутствия в ней какого-либо заметного способа определения качества работ). Поэтому, конечно, я не могу не обратить своё и ваше внимание на очередную заметку на Воксе, посвящённую экономике изобразительного искусства Италии 17 ст. Интересные цитаты:
A unique dataset established at the Getty Research Institute under the coordination of the art historian Richard Spear (see Spear and Sohm 2010) has put together data on a representative sample of paintings commissioned in Rome during the 1600s. In this sample the average price of still life paintings was about 17 silver scudi, against 25 scudi for genre paintings, 39 for portraits, 66 for landscapes, 73 for battles, and 240 for figurative paintings. These huge differences were largely motivated by the hierarchy of genres in the artistic culture of the time. [...] Such a ranking was well understood between art critics and art collectors.1 Later in the century, it was even codified by the art academies.
[...] in equilibrium painters should be allocated between commissions to the point of equalising the marginal return of each genre. To put this version of the ‘law of one price’ in an extreme way: a square metre of painted canvas commissioned to the same painter from the same patron under the same conditions should be priced independently from what it represents.
It turns out that these differences disappear, and that most of the inter-genre price differential is explained by the variation in average individual heterogeneity across artistic sectors. This suggests that the Baroque labour market for painters was already quite competitive and allocated artists between artistic genres to the point of equalising the marginal return of different genres. In a sense, if figurative paintings were paid more in absolute terms, it was mainly because better painters were engaged in figurative paintings (which also had a larger size on average). On the other side, minor painters could not switch from still lifes to figurative paintings to earn extra profits because they would have been paid less than other painters. How much less? Exactly enough to make them indifferent between genres.
We did however find some evidence of residual price differences at the employer level: some patrons paid systematically more than others. These differences can be explained in terms of efficiency wages to induce effort in the production of artistic quality. In some cases, as for St Peter’s Basilica or the top noble families (the Medici, the Gonzaga, and foreign kings), higher prices, up to four times as ordinary, were paid to induce more effort and therefore quality (Shapiro and Stiglitz 1984).
According to the Nelson-Zeckhauser hypothesis, we should expect stronger incentive mechanisms to induce quality and higher prices for paintings addressed to private chapels compared to common religious commissions (financed by the churches or other religious institutions) and especially compared to other private commissions which were not necessarily destined to public display (those for private palaces and collections). This is exactly what we find, with a 70% price premium for identical paintings destined to private chapels rather than private collections.
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