The Iconic Boom in Modern Russian Art

26 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021

See all articles by Luc Renneboog

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Christophe Spaenjers

HEC Paris - Finance Department

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Date Written: October 7, 2021


Motivated by the fast growth of personal wealth in emerging economies such as Russia, the authors investigate the investment performance of modern Russian art. A hedonic analysis of more than 50,000 art transactions results in a geometric average return of 3.97% in real US$ terms between 1967 and 2007. The authors’ Russian art index shows an impressive annualized return of 12.37% since 1997, roughly double the average yearly appreciation of a global art market index over the same period. Art from the 19th century has particularly performed well. The returns on Russian art correlate positively with the returns on global equities, gold, and (especially) London real estate, and seem to be affected by trends in oil prices more than global art prices. The authors’ results illustrate how the new wealth created in fast-developing economies has an impact on the demand for art from these countries, which reflects a home bias in taste.

Keywords: art market, auctions, pricing art, hedonic model, economics of art, cultural economics

JEL Classification: Z1, Z11, G11, G12

Suggested Citation

Renneboog, Luc and Spaenjers, Christophe, The Iconic Boom in Modern Russian Art (October 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Luc Renneboog (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

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5000 LE Tilburg
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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

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Christophe Spaenjers

HEC Paris - Finance Department ( email )

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Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

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