Abstract: In areas of human activity where performance is difficult to quantify in an objective fashion, reputation and networks of influence play a key role in determining access to resources and rewards. To understand the role of these factors, we reconstructed the exhibition history of half a million artists, mapping out the co-exhibition network that captures the movement of art between institutions. Centrality within this network captured institutional prestige, allowing us to explore the career trajectory of individual artists in terms of access to coveted institutions. Early access to prestigious central institutions offered life-long access to high-prestige venues and reduced dropout rate. By contrast, starting at the network periphery resulted in a high dropout rate, limiting access to central institutions. A Markov model predicts the career trajectory of individual artists and documents the strong path and history dependence of valuation in art.
Bio: Christoph Riedl is assistant professor for Information Systems at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. He holds a joint appointment with the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and is a core faculty member at the Network Science Institute. He is a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard. He is recipient of a Young Investigator Award (YIP) from the Army Research Office (ARO) for his work on social networks in collaborative decision-making. Before joining Northeastern University he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Business School and IQSS. He received a PhD in Information Systems from Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM), Germany in 2011, a MSc in Information Systems in 2007, and a BSc in Computer Science in 2006. His work has been funded by NSF, ARO, ONR, and DARPA, and has been published in leading journals including Science, Organization Science, Management Science, Information Systems Research, Academy of Management Discoveries, and the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.