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an endogenous Representation of the contemporary art market cycle SPECULATION AND DECOUPLING OF ARTI [extrait BMI 100]

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T he art market has long been ignored by economic science because the most established paradigms do not enable it, either by work value or by rarity, to understand the formation of the exchange value of a unique work. Because of the uncertainties it embodies, the contemporary art market to an even greater extent eludes our economic laws. Describing "the price of a work of art [as] a matter of accident", Marshall (1890) ended up by excluding this heretical market. Nevertheless, the work of the economist G. Ackerlof (1970) proposes that the source of these diffi culties lies in the indeterminate character of the products on the market. Without agreement on the part of actors as to what is to be assigned value, uncertainty and speculation fuel price instability. Sociology (R. Moulin, then A. Quemin), by providing an analysis of the interrelations between the actors in the process of artistic valorization, is here of considerable help. Artistic recognition, by defi ning the quality of a work, is a needed reference point for market actors. By bringing together this knowledge from economic theories of speculation and networks, the perception of the formation of a work's value on the market may be refi ned (Moureau, 2000).

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