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Art Fakes - What Fakes? An Economic View

By Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

An economic analysis of fakes differs substantially from the legal and the art historic views which both tend to propose repressive policies against imitations. But there are large economic benefits from copying. In particular, the "propagation effect" yields utility to both consumers and creators of the original. In contrast, the harmful effects of fakes are small and are mitigated by emerging institutions (guarantees, sellers with reputation). The paper suggests "art quotations" (similar to academic quotations) as a beneficial solution to creators of originals and consumers. "Art quotations" are applicable to many art forms.Cultural Policy, art markets, art forgery, intellectual property rights, cultural industries

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