Willingness to pay and nuanced cultural cues: Evidence from Hong Kong's license-plate auction market
We estimate a hedonic price model of willingness to pay (WTP) for superstition. The model explains WTP measured by winning bids in Hong Kong license-plate auctions through numeric and alpha-numeric sequences catering to culturally-sensitive superstitions, tempered by self-expression, economic and auction-specific considerations. The paper adds to the extant literature on three dimensions. First, we focus on a commodity that is a necessary accessory with no intrinsic value, known to be available in unlimited supply at a production cost substantially less than the buyer's WTP. Second, we show differentiated responses by consumers to nuanced cues that exploit well-known local cultural sensitivities. Finally, we incorporate macroeconomic and auction-specific variables to elicit their impact on consumer preferences and behavior within our culturally-sensitive context. Our results suggest quantifiable differences in consumer responses to psychologically-nuanced cultural cues, which management can exploit to its competitive advantage. This evidence is relevant and timely, given the rising corporate interest in serving the vast and growing consumer market in China.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Dyl, Edward A & Maberly, Edwin D, 1988. " The Anomaly That Isn't There: A Comment on Friday the Thirteenth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1285-86, December.
- Harrington, David E. & Krynski, Kathy J., 1989. "State Pricing of Vanity License Plates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(1), pages 95-99, March.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005.
"Superstition and Rational Learning,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
618897000000000731, David K. Levine.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2114, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196330, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Jonathan A. Parker & Motohiro Yogo, 2001.
"Luxury Goods and the Equity Premium,"
NBER Working Papers
8417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
- Green, Richard K., 2002. "Stock prices and house prices in California: new evidence of a wealth effect?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 775-783, November.
- Daniel McFadden, 1998.
"Rationality for Economists?,"
98-09-086, Santa Fe Institute.
- Brian Lucey, 2000. "Friday the 13th and the philosophical basis of financial economics," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 24(3), pages 294-301, September.
- Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene, 1984. "Directly Unproductive Prophet-seeking Activities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1087-88, December.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998.
"Human Behavior and the Efficiency of the Financial System,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1172, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Human behavior and the efficiency of the financial system," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1305-1340 Elsevier.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Human Behavior and the Efficiency of the Financial System," NBER Working Papers 6375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laibson, David I., 2000.
"A Cue-Theory of Consumption,"
4481496, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Brown, Philip & Chua, Angeline & Mitchell, Jason, 2002. "The influence of cultural factors on price clustering: Evidence from Asia-Pacific stock markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 307-332, June.
- David A Ralston & Carolyn P Egri & Sally Stewart & Robert H Terpstra & Yu Kaicheng, 1999. "Doing Business in the 21st Century with the New Generation of Chinese Managers: A Study of Generational Shifts in Work Values in China," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 415-427, June.
- James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004.
"Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
- Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "Rational Ignorance versus Rational Irrationality," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 3-26.
- Elke U. Weber & Christopher Hsee, 1998. "Cross-Cultural Differences in Risk Perception, but Cross-Cultural Similarities in Attitudes Towards Perceived Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1205-1217, September.
- Biddle, Jeff, 1991. "A Bandwagon Effect in Personalized License Plates?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 375-88, April.
- Ka-Fu Wong & Linda Yung, 2005. "Do Dragons Have Better Fate?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 689-697, July.
- Woo, Chi-Keung & Kwok, Raymond H. F., 1994. "Vanity, superstition and auction price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 389-395, April.
- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
- Simon Gao & Morrison Handley-Schachler, 2003. "The influences of Confucianism, Feng Shui and Buddhism in Chinese accounting history," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 41-68.
- Kolb, Robert W & Rodriguez, Ricardo J, 1987. " Friday the Thirteenth: 'Part VII'--A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(5), pages 1385-87, December.
- James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
- Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
- 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..
- Erik D. Craft, 2002. "The Demand For Vanity (Plates): Elasticities, Net Revenue Maximization, And Deadweight Loss," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 133-144, 04.
- Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1994. "Economic incentives transform psychological anomalies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 215-234, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:1:p:35-53. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.