NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters

David W. Galenson, Bruce A. Weinberg

NBER Working Paper No. 7122
Issued in May 1999
NBER Program(s):   LS

Psychologists have found that the age at which successful practitioners typically do their best work varies across professions, but they have not considered whether these peak ages change over time, as economic models suggest they might. Using auction records, we estimate the relationship between artists' ages and the value of their paintings for two successive cohorts of modern American painters. We find that a substantial decline occurred over time in the age at which these artists produced their most valuable - and most important - work, and argue that this was caused by a shift in the nature of the demand for modern art during the 1950s.

download in pdf format
   (128 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (128 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7122

Published: Galenson, David W. and Bruce A. Weinberg. "Age And The Quality Of Work: The Case Of Modern American Painters," Journal of Political Economy, 2000, v108(4,Aug), 761-777. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Galenson and Jensen w8368 Young Geniuses and Old Masters: The Life Cycles of Great Artists from Masaccio to Jasper Johns
Weinberg and Galenson w11799 Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics
Galenson w7407 Quantifying Artistic Success: Ranking French Painters - and Paintings - from Impressionism to Cubism
Galenson w12928 Who Were the Greatest Women Artists of the Twentieth Century? A Quantitative Investigation
Galenson w11152 Anticipating Artistic Success (or, How to Beat the Art Market): Lessons from History
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us