Mar 8, 2012

Emotions and economics

This paper examines how variation in mood influences subjective risk and hence auction prices for art in London during the period 1990-2007. Using the hours of daily sunshine as a proxy for the variation in mood, we collect a unique data set that includes presale estimates for paintings sold through Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses as well as weather data for London from the British Atmospheric Data Centre. Our quantile regression findings indicate that extraordinarily good weather results in an upward bidding bias during the winter and across the distribution. This paper complements previously reported experimental findings on the role of emotions in decision making.
That is from the paper "Does the sun ‘shine’ on art prices?" by De Silva, Pownall, and Wolk (February 2011). 
The authors explain:
One possible explanation for the absence of the good weather effect during spring, summer and autumn, is that additional hours of sunshine result in diminishing marginal returns to sunshine, which in seasons with enough sunshine would make the good weather effect disappear.
The authors cite a paper by Capra, Lanier, and Meer (2010) which finds "that positive mood generates an upward bidding bias in the induced value condition." 

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