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The Value of Superstitions

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

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 in turn justifies their persistence in human civilization. We also show that such a value, though based inherently on irrational beliefs, would respond to changes in a manner consistent with economic intuition. In addition, the paper contributes to the recently-heated debate on whether recessions draw people to churches; our results are consistent with people being more superstitious in bad times.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13575/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13575.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13575

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Keywords: Superstitions; Auction;

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References

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  1. Hristos Doucouliagos, 2004. "Number preference in Australian stocks," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 43-54.
  2. Rod Garrat & Thomas Tröger, 2005. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse10_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196330, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Biddle, Jeff, 1991. "A Bandwagon Effect in Personalized License Plates?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 375-88, April.
  5. Rod Garratt & Thomas Troger, 2004. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Microeconomics 0405005, EconWPA.
  6. Ka-Fu Wong & Linda Yung, 2005. "Do Dragons Have Better Fate?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 689-697, July.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. K. K. Lancaster, 2010. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1385, David K. Levine.
  13. Woo, Chi-Keung & Kwok, Raymond H. F., 1994. "Vanity, superstition and auction price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 389-395, April.
  14. 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.
  15. 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..
  16. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
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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. 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).
  3. 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.

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