2018/32 LEM Working Paper Series

Power-Laws in Art. From Renaissance to Contemporary Art

Federico Etro and Elena Stepanova
Power laws; Art prices; Talent distribution; Scale-free networks

  JEL Classifications
C23, Z11
We provide evidence of a cubic law of art prices that hints to a general pattern for the distribution of artistic talent. The persistence across heterogeneous markets from historical ones to contemporary art auctions of a power law in the distribution of the average price per artist suggests the possibility of a universal law for talent distribution. We explore scale-free networks of teacher-students to investigate the diffusion of talent over time.
download pdf