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The Value of Superstitions

Author

Listed:
  • Tarvis Ng
  • Terence Tai-Leung, Chong
  • 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 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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Tarvis Ng & Terence Tai-Leung, Chong & Xin Du, 2009. "The Value of Superstitions," Departmental Working Papers _189, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:chk:cuhked:_189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rod Garratt & Thomas Tröger, 2006. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 753-769, May.
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    3. 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.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 630-651, June.
    5. Woo, Chi-Keung & Kwok, Raymond H. F., 1994. "Vanity, superstition and auction price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 389-395, April.
    6. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortaçsu, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
    7. 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..
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    11. K. K. Lancaster, 2010. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1385, David K. Levine.
    12. TerenceTai-Leung Chong & Xin Du, 2008. "Hedonic Pricing Models For Vehicle Registration Marks," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 259-276, May.
    13. Thomas Kramer & Lauren Block, 2008. "Conscious and Nonconscious Components of Superstitious Beliefs in Judgment and Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 783-793, October.
    14. Biddle, Jeff, 1991. "A Bandwagon Effect in Personalized License Plates?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 375-388, April.
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    Citations

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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. repec:eee:pacfin:v:47:y:2018:i:c:p:79-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tong V. Wang & Rogier J. D. Potter van Loon & Martijn J. van den Assem & Dennie van Dolder, 2016. "Number preferences in lotteries," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(3), pages 243-259, May.
    4. Vinci Chow, 2017. "Predicting Auction Price of Vehicle License Plate with Deep Recurrent Neural Network," Papers 1701.08711, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2017.
    5. 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.
    6. Brad R. Humphreys & Adam Nowak & Yang Zhou, 2016. "Cultural Superstitions and Residential Real Estate Prices: Transaction-level Evidence from the US Housing Market," Working Papers 16-27, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Agarwal, Sumit & He, Jia & Liu, Haoming & Png, I. P. L. & Sing, Tien Foo & Wong, Wei-Kang, 2016. "Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore," IZA Discussion Papers 9899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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