The Winner-Take-All Contemporary Art Market

Alessia Zorloni, Antonella Ardizzone
Creative Industries Journal, vol. 9, n.1, 2016

This paper investigates the way the contemporary art market works through a quantitative analysis of a sample of the most famous contemporary artists in the world. It empirically confirms Rosen’s superstar model and the phenomenon of density dependence proposed by Adler. Results on the sample show that: (1) the contemporary art market is a winner-take-all market subject to network effects; (2) the artist’s international prestige increases with the number of collections; and (3) the contemporary art market is driven by the economy of attention where trend-setters foster the star system.