In art, who you know pays off more than hard work

The power of networks explains why some become stars while others struggle

With its US$2 million (S$2.7 million) urinals and other puzzling valuations, the pricing of fine art might seem too arbitrary, too opaque, too wildly jostled by randomness to submit to scientific investigation.

Yet, a paper in the journal Science this month promised to explain why some talented artists become rich and famous, and others can't quit their day jobs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'In art, who you know pays off more than hard work'. Print Edition | Subscribe