Neoliberal marketization of art worlds and status multiplexity: Price formation in a Korean art auction, 1998-2007

Dongyoub Shin, Kangsan Lee, Hakbae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the effects of neoliberal marketization of art worlds on the price formation of artworks in the auction market. Based on the distinction between market status and professional status of an artist, we argue that the two types of status not only differ in their effects on price formation but also interact with each other in determining the price of artwork. Analysis of an original dataset of all artworks traded at a major Korean fine art auction from 1998 to 2007 indicates that the price of an artwork sold at the auction is positively affected by the market status of its artist and negatively affected by the same artist's professional status. We also find that the negative effect of professional status on the price of artwork is greater for those artists with high market status than for those with low market status. Our results also show that the adoption of neoliberal art investment practices has increased the prices of artworks traded at the auction by reinforcing the institutional logic of marketization. Moreover, the adoption of neoliberal investment practices is found to further enhance the positive effect of market status on price. General implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-148
Number of pages29
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Art auction
  • Market status
  • Neoliberal marketization of art worlds
  • Professional status
  • Status multiplexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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