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Superstition and “lucky” apartments: Evidence from transaction-level data

Listed author(s):
  • Shum, Matthew
  • Sun, Wei
  • Ye, Guangliang

Using a sample of apartment transactions during 2004–2006 in Chengdu, China, we investigate the impact of superstitions in the Chinese real estate market. Numerology forms an important component of Chinese superstitious lore, with the numbers 8 and 6 signifying good luck, and the number 4 bad luck. We find that secondhand apartments located on floors ending with “8” fetch, on average, a 235RMB higher price (per square meter) than on other floors. For newly constructed apartments, this price premium disappears due to uniform pricing of new housing units, but apartments on floors ending in an “8” are sold, on average, 6.9days faster than on other floors. Buyers who have a phone number containing more “8”’s are more likely to purchase apartments in a floor ending with “8”; this suggests that at least part of the price premium for “lucky” apartments arises from the buyers’ superstitious beliefs.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596713001297
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 109-117

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:1:p:109-117
DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.10.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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