The Deal of Art Dealing: Intermediary Roles of Art Dealers

Dorothea K Herreiner, Economics Department, Loyola Marymount University

In many markets, intermediaries play a central role that makes markets more efficient. Intermediation can take the forms of match making, market making, agency, expert consulting, certification, etc. This paper investigates empirically and theoretically which intermediary roles art dealers play in art markets, how different functions are combined, and what conflicts of interest may emerge between different roles. The efficiency of the art market is considered as a function of intermediation and compared to other markets with intermediaries. Results from an extensive survey among German and LA/NYC art galleries are presented and analyzed within a model of intermediation with different simultaneous intermediary roles.

Keywords: Market Structure and Pricing, Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance, Industry Studies: Services
JEL Classification: D4, L1, L8

Current Version: September 2008   [pdf]