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Research question:  Literature mainly studies auctions in the context of bidding as an econ transaction  Other studies focus on the

emotional side of bidding (Auctions, xxx)  Nobody focuses on the broader context of auctions houses, everybody focuses on the act of bidding but there is not much information on the social aspect inside AH (other aspects that are relevant except the actual act of bidding- econ transaction)  Are there any relationships based on social interaction formed inside auctions houses? How are these relationships developed and how does the formation of such relationships influence the economic context within the auction houses environment? Observation 1 H1: Attendees interact with each other during auctions in order to build relationships of social and economic nature O1a:  The auction house is composed out of two main chambers that we found are related to our research: bidding room and show room  Further observation highlighted the fact that the two rooms form two completely different environments: - The former encompassed the environment studied by previous authors (literature today) and focused around the specific act of bidding. The room was not only composed by people directly interested in bidding but also by people interested in observing what was being auctioned. The room was quiet and the only notable interaction was between the auctioneer and the bidders (both present in the room and on telephone). - The latter was characterized by a lot of interaction, with an exchange of opinions, information etc. The art works where exhibited in the room and refreshment were provided for the attendees. Specifically, this group of people who appeared to be less interested in bidding was exchanging information about specific artworks (about history, past owners, expected sale price vs. estimated value), specific buyers (gossip, some were talking about a Lebanese buyer they knew), trends in the art market (recent emergence of newly enriched people with bad taste, looking for “brand” names, without understanding the artwork itself). It appears people are engaged in some sort of networking (someone approached another man asking him in what he was interested and what reasons were bringing him there). O1b:  This first observation seemed to support our hypothesis. We later went on to visit another auction to confirm our findings. In our second observation under the stated hypothesis, we found some interesting behaviours: - The second auction was less crowded than the first one; many people, indeed, were bidding online or through the phone. In addition, people in the show room were not interacting with each other and the biggest group we could find was composed of two individuals (mainly couples). - An old man came to see whether some pieces of art of his late mother were being sold. He was not a frequent attendee (customer) and did not know much about social interactions within the context. - A couple said that they usually go to auctions just to admire contemporary art, they hung out mainly in the show room and told us that they only buy when they need something for their children’s house.

Subsequently we had the opportunity to interview a manager of the auction house. Social interactions are important to only a fraction of them. We found evidence of this. a gallerist or an art collector. her colleague is in touch with the retailers and visits auctions to exchange information with them.- - The third person we interviewed was a lady who wasn’t a regular attendee at auctions either. she comes to the same place of art display regularly to purchase things for her new house. Although. after telling us that the principal reason is directly related to bidding. art dealers and gallerists. identifying a high correlation between the centrality of art in one’s life and his likelihood to engage in social relations. Monroe. We asked him general questions on the reasons why people come to auctions and. she sits in the auction. The person introduced himself as a dealer and asked why the other person was at the auction and whether he was another dealer. After talking about their mutual interests and discovering that they didn’t match. A woman came with a colleague. it appeared clearer that those involved in social interactions were those for whom art represented a central aspect of their professional and/or personal lives. Breakdown: Many people attend auctions for a number of different reasons. Many others go for many other reasons. By observing one of them more closely. we discovered that he was looking to network with someone who shared his interest in a certain artist. We asked questions regarding the frequency of attendance to both people who interacted and to the individuals who showed no interest in socializing. He gave us as an example a small community of collectors (50-60 worldwide in their network) that are interested in items that belonged or were in the possession of M. What came out partially confirmed our initial hypothesis: regular attendees were mainly collectors. This person answered that he was a collector and then rebated asking what art period/artist(s) he was interested in. gallerists and collectors. We observed that in some rare occasions individuals met and talked for just under a minute and then walked away from each other. They can be art dealers. Observation 2 HP2: Only a specific group of people attends auctions for social-economic purposes. they walked away. He told us that they form a community that develops around specific artists: art dealers and collectors network and exchange information mainly around a specific artist and come to the auction for this specific purpose. We then focused on trying to better understand in more detail the causes that drive individuals to interact with each other. he told us that art dealers and collectors might also come to network and exchange information. Individuals who participate to social interactions in auctions share a common interest about specific artists or art movement. These people share information constantly about potential locations were    . She said if she likes them. Individuals who regularly attend auction houses and that through time have a continuous interest in buying and selling artworks compose the groups that participate to these interactions. O2:  After the discoveries previously made. She doesn’t know much about auctions but regularly attends and socialises.

Observation 3 HP3: Within the context of auction houses. this leads to exchange of information and if this information is relevant it can actually lead to an economic transaction between these certain parties (outside the auction house). O3 (information asymmetry)  Information that is not publicly available regarding specific characteristics of a piece (artwork) – date. The auction house manager saw this as one disadvantage of letting people network. information regarding who bids for certain pieces will come up. . collectors and gallerists develop around specific artists or art periods. During the auction. such items could be auctioned. authenticity. Monroe actress to present the items and interact with the public. These people feel so related to the items that often they participate directly in organizing the event: they hire a M. in turn. background of owners . They were looking for other attendees who would have gone with them. these people usually only participate at these types of events and inside the auction house mainly interact with the other collectors to share information about the products and what prices they can be sold at. Breakdown: People do not engage in social-economic interaction if they do not share a specific interest. and sometimes they even ask her to bid in their name for the authenticity of the event. These communities engage in social interaction within and beyond the auction house. several communities of art dealers. This interaction leads to exchange of information that will affect the market of the artist they are concerned with.may influence its market value  Information on current owners of rare pieces /collections can be of crucial value to interested parties (keep it for themselves or sell it at higher price at an auction or other type of economic transaction) 1. this is relevant because knowing that a person collects certain pieces might be willing to buy pieces of the same artist  People go to auctions to network with people with similar interests. auction houses that could potentially bid such items usually keep them in their database and constantly inform them when such items will auctioned as well (because of the small community). to lead to interaction. Some of the attendees at the auction were discussing about planning a trip to Amsterdam to attend an auction of a particular artist they cared about. The general and broad interest in arts is not sufficient. as opposed as how it was meant before. At the same time. because this may reduce the market for auction houses.