Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition
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Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition

Edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernández

Cultural economics has become well established as a subject of interest for students and teachers of courses ranging from economics to arts administration as well as for policy-makers and practitioners in the creative industries. Digitisation has had a tremendous impact on many areas of the creative economy and the third edition of this popular book fully reflects it.
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Chapter 3: Art dealers

Olav Velthuis


In a number of other respects, art markets deviate dramatically from textbook theory of perfect markets, and demonstrate a number of striking anomalies: transaction costs are high, preferences are socially shaped, and trust relationships are crucial owing to widespread information asymmetries. This entry details how art markets are segmented (commercial versus non-commercial, primary versus secondary, local versus global), how competition with art markets is structured and how dealers try to make markets for the art they have on offer. However, the way art is traded may be about to change: owing to the winner-take-all structure of the market, the dramatic rise of art fairs over the past two decades and the changing buying habits of dealers’ clients, increasing numbers of dealers are closing their doors.

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