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Superstition in the Housing Market

  • Fortin, Nicole M.

    ()

    (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

  • Hill, Andrew J.

    ()

    (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

  • Huang, Jeff

    (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

We provide the first solid evidence that Chinese superstitious beliefs can have significant effects on house prices in a North American market with a large immigrant population. Using real estate data on close to 117,000 house sales, we find that houses with address number ending in four are sold at a 2.2% discount and those ending in eight are sold at a 2.5% premium in comparison to houses with other addresses. These price effects are found either in neighborhoods with a higher than average percentage of Chinese residents, consistent with cultural preferences, or in repeated transactions, consistent with speculative behavior.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7484.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7484
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  1. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
  2. Stephen Morris, . "Speculative Investor Behavior and Learning," Penn CARESS Working Papers d12f7936881423171f6589501, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Stuart S. Rosenthal, 1999. "Residential Buildings And The Cost Of Construction: New Evidence On The Efficiency Of The Housing Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 288-302, May.
  4. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Meese Richard & Wallace Nancy, 1994. "Testing the Present Value Relation for Housing Prices: Should I Leave My House in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 245-266, May.
  8. Brown, Philip & Mitchell, Jason, 2008. "Culture and stock price clustering: Evidence from The Peoples' Republic of China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 95-120, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
  11. 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.
  12. 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..
  13. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
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