Tuesday, May 17, Fiona Rose-Greenland and James Marrone present: A New Method for Evaluating the Market Value of Cultural Artifacts from the Islamic State

We welcome you to join us for the next meeting of the Money, Markets, and Governance workshop, on Tuesday, May 17th, 4:30PM – 6PM, at Social Science Research Building classroom 401.

Fiona Rose-Greenland
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

and James Marrone
PhD Candidate, Economics, University of Chicago

A New Method for Evaluating the Market Value of  Cultural Artifacts from the Islamic State

Discussant: Nick Judd

PhD Student, Sociology, University of Chicago

 Abstract: Archaeological artifacts are presumed to be a key source of income for the Islamic State and other insurgent groups in Syria and Iraq. Estimates of the value of the artifacts trade range from $7 billion to a few million, a variance explained by a general lack of quantitative rigor. Establishing reliable estimates are important in order to create policy tools that can protect irreplaceable cultural goods and reduce insurgent cash flows. Generating a systematic methodology, moreover, offers analytical purchase on a broader class of questions about valuation mechanisms, artifact concentrations, and political change. In an effort to establish a rigorous approach to the question of income derived from the trade in looted artifacts (“antiquities”), we construct a multi-step methodology incorporating excavation data, auction sales data, and price imputation. This paper discusses the novel contribution of the price imputation method.


*** For a fruitful discussion, participants are requested to engage with the paper in advance. For a copy of the paper please contact the coordinator***


For issues of disability or accessibility concerns please contact yanivr (at) uchicago (dot) edu.

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