Can we price beauty? Aesthetics and digital art markets

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What is the relation between the aesthetic value of art and its market price? We address this question in the context of digital art markets by employing data from the popular CryptoPunks NFT art collection. We quantify the visual attractiveness of NFTs using four aesthetic measures that are associated with emotional effects in the cultural economics literature. Using a hedonic pricing model, we identify aesthetics as a driver of prices in digital art markets. Our results indicate that investors prefer NFTs with higher levels of colorfulness and texture complexity and lower levels of saturation and brightness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111572
JournalEconomics Letters
Early online date28 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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