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Do Dragons Have Better Fate?

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  • Ka-Fu Wong
  • Linda Yung

Abstract

Traditionally, belief in the Chinese zodiac promotes the superstition that the timing of one's birth determines one's fate. Adherence to this belief has resulted in increased birth rates during Dragon years and, hence, problems in the logistics of providing certain public goods and services (such as schools and medical services) by governments. Despite the possible economic impacts of this superstition on society, no previous study has attempted to test its validity. Using the 1991 and 1996 Hong Kong census data sets, as well as the standard return-to-education methodology, we do not find any evidence for this pervasive superstition. (JEL J13, J18, Z12) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ka-Fu Wong & Linda Yung, 2005. "Do Dragons Have Better Fate?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 689-697, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:3:p:689-697
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole M. Fortin & Andrew J. Hill & Jeff Huang, 2014. "Superstition In The Housing Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 974-993, July.
    2. Do, Quy-Toan & Phung, Tung Duc, 2006. "Superstition, family planning, and human development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4001, The World Bank.
    3. Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2011. "Does fortune favor dragons?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 85-97, April.
    4. Ng, Travis & Chong, Terence & Du, Xin, 2010. "The value of superstitions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 293-309, June.
    5. Hiroyuki Yamada, 2013. "Superstition effects versus cohort effects: is it bad luck to be born in the year of the fire horse in Japan?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 259-283, June.
    6. Evgeny A. Antipov & Elena B. Pokryshevskaya, 2015. "Are buyers of apartments superstitious? Evidence from the Russian real estate market," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(6), pages 590-592, November.
    7. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "Overconfidence, omens and gender heterogeneity: Results from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 237-252.
    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. 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.
    10. Siniver, Erez & Yaniv, Gideon, 2015. "Kissing the mezuzah and cognitive performance: Is there an observable benefit?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 40-46.
    11. Elena B. Pokryshevskaya & Evgeny A. Antipov, 2015. "A study of numerological superstitions in the apartments market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 83-88.
    12. Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Overconfidence, Omens And Emotions: Results From A Field Experiment," Working Papers 201303, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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