You can't export that! Export Veto for modern and contemporary Italian Art

Francesco Angelini (University of Bologna)
Massimiliano Castellani (University of Bologna)
Pierpaolo Pattitoni (University of Bologna)


In Italy, since 1939 an export veto exists for artworks made more than 50 years before the sale date by artists who are dead at the time of the sale. The Italian bureau can decide to apply an export veto, forbidding the circulation of these artworks outside the Italian ter- ritory. Using original data from a hand-collected dataset covering all artworks made by dead modern and contemporary Italian artists, auctioned at Christie's and Sotheby's in London and Milan, from 2012 to 2016, we estimate a threshold model to consider the effect of the export veto Law while controlling for the potential presence of a sample selection bias. We found that, while artworks' price is increasing in the time span between their creation year and the sale date, this effect disappears for artworks sold in Italy and created more than 50 years before the sale date.

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