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The value of superstitions

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  • Ng, Travis
  • Chong, Terence
  • Du, Xin

Abstract

This paper estimates the value of superstitions by studying the auctions of vehicle license plates. We show that the value of superstitions is economically significant, which justifies their persistence in human civilization. We also document the changes of the value of superstitions across different types of plates, across different policy regimes, and across different macroeconomic environments. Interestingly, some of the changes are rather consistent with economic intuition.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 293-309

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:293-309

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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Keywords: Superstitions Auction;

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References

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  1. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196330, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. TerenceTai-Leung Chong & Xin Du , 2008. "Hedonic Pricing Models For Vehicle Registration Marks," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 259-276, 05.
  3. Rod Garrat & Thomas Tröger, 2005. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse10_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Thomas Kramer & Lauren Block, 2008. "Conscious and Nonconscious Components of Superstitious Beliefs in Judgment and Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(6), pages 783-793, October.
  5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  6. Patrick Bajari & Ali Horta�su, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
  7. Cynthia G. McDonald & V. Carlos Slawson, 2002. "Reputation in An Internet Auction Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 633-650, October.
  8. Rod Garratt & Thomas Troger, 2004. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Microeconomics 0405005, EconWPA.
  9. Hristos Doucouliagos, 2004. "Number preference in Australian stocks," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 43-54.
  10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  11. K. K. Lancaster, 2010. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1385, David K. Levine.
  12. Woo, Chi-Keung & Kwok, Raymond H. F., 1994. "Vanity, superstition and auction price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 389-395, April.
  13. Woo, Chi-Keung & Horowitz, Ira & Luk, Stephen & Lai, Aaron, 2008. "Willingness to pay and nuanced cultural cues: Evidence from Hong Kong's license-plate auction market," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 35-53, February.
  14. Biddle, Jeff, 1991. "A Bandwagon Effect in Personalized License Plates?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 375-88, April.
  15. Steven C. Bourassa & Vincent S. Peng, 1999. "Hedonic Prices and House Numbers: The Influence of Feng Shui," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 2(1), pages 79-93.
  16. Ka-Fu Wong & Linda Yung, 2005. "Do Dragons Have Better Fate?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 689-697, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Yang, Zili, 2011. "“Lucky” numbers, unlucky consumers," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 692-699.
  2. Shum, Matthew & Sun, Wei & Ye, Guangliang, 2014. "Superstition and “lucky” apartments: Evidence from transaction-level data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-117.
  3. Fortin, Nicole M. & Hill, Andrew J. & Huang, Jeff, 2013. "Superstition in the Housing Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7484, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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