Turkish Paintings Market: History, Price Dynamics, and Outlook

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The economics of art markets has been receiving increasing attention, especially in view of the financial investment aspects of the purchases of art objects. In this paper, we first review the economic structure and the special characteristics of the (auction) markets for paintings. Then, we provide a selected review of the empirical literature on the economics of arts. In doing so, we focus not only on the financial returns but also on the so-called “aesthetic” or “psychic” returns to investing in art objects. Next, we examine the local auction markets for paintings in Turkey. Our study is one of the few in the literature that investigates the art auction markets in an emerging market context. Turkey is also an interesting case since the history paintings by Turkish artists starts only from around mid-1800s. On the empirical side, we use data on more than 4,400 auction sales and construct a hedonic price index for the Turkish paintings market. In our discussion of the results, we elaborate on the financial viability of art investments in Turkey, how various characteristics of paintings influence their prices, whether there is segmentation in the art market with respect to old masters, contemporaries, and artistic groups. We also comment on the possible extent of psychic returns in the Turkish paintings market. We conclude by examining the current trends in the Turkish art markets, e.g. the recent boom in the opening of private museums and galleries, and try to provide insights into future developments.


Keywords: Economics of the arts, Art Investment, Aesthetic Returns, Prices, Market, Turkish paintings, Turkish Art market
Stream: Supporting the Arts
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Erdal Atukeren

Senior Researcher, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland


Dr. Aylin Seçkin

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University
Istanbul, Turkey


Ref: A07P0081