Dollars and Sense in the Art Market

15 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2020

See all articles by Ventura Charlin

Ventura Charlin

V.C. Consultants; EVENTUS ANALYTICS; V.C. Consultants

Arturo Cifuentes


Date Written: June 25, 2014


This paper introduces a new financial metric for the art market. The metric, which we call Artistic Power Value (APV), is based on the price per unit of area (dollars per square centimeter) and is applicable to two-dimensional art objects such as paintings. This metric has several advantages from the investor’s viewpoint. It makes it easy to: (i) estimate price ranges for different artists; (ii) perform comparisons among them; (iii) follow the evolution of the artists’ creativity cycle overtime; and (iv) compare − for a single artist − paintings with different subjects or different geometric properties. This metric also facilitates the process of estimating returns and leads to a price index that satisfies the monotonicity condition. Finally, due to its transparency, the APV metric is very well suited to design derivatives-like instruments that can appeal to both, investors and speculators. Several examples using auction data demonstrate the usefulness of the APV metric.

Keywords: Art markets, hedonic pricing, repeat sales, returns

JEL Classification: C18, D44, G11, G12, Z10

Suggested Citation

Charlin, Ventura and Cifuentes, Arturo, Dollars and Sense in the Art Market (June 25, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ventura Charlin (Contact Author)

V.C. Consultants ( email )

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230 E 73rd Street
New York, NY New York 10021
United States

V.C. Consultants ( email )

United States

Arturo Cifuentes

CLAPES--UC ( email )

Av Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 340
Santiago, Región Metropolitana 8331150

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