The rapidly changing and evolving art market might appear to be chaotic to the casual observer, with new highs, potential lows, and tastes and fashions changing season to season. Economists, however, view the actions of buyers and sellers as constituting an identifiable market. They have, for some decades, studied such issues as artistic productivity and "e;death effects"e; on prices, investment returns, and on the basis of the behavior and estimated prices in auction markets. The Economics of American Art analyzes the most pervasive economic issues facing the art world, applied to the whole spectrum of American art. The book begins by looking at how a market for American art developed, how the politics of the post-war era shaped, at least in large part, the direction of American art, and how this legacy continues into contemporary art today. The book then tackles several salient, integral questions animating the American art world: Are age and "e;type"e; of artist (i.e. traditional or "e;innovative"e;) related and, if so, how might they be related to productivity? Is investment in American art a remunerative endeavor compared to other investment possibilities? Do economic insights provide understanding of fakes, fraud and theft of art, particularly American art, and is it possible to prevent art crime? Is there is a boom (or a bust) in the market for contemporary American art as might be found in other markets?The ongoing evolution of American art is attended by a massive number of influences, and the economic concepts employed in this volume will complement other critical and important cultural studies of art. Both practical and accessible, The Economics of American Art will be essential for collectors, auction houses, American art experts of all kinds, museums, gallery owners and, not least, by economists with continuing scholarly interests in these matters.