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Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore

Author

Listed:
  • Agarwal, Sumit

    () (National University of Singapore)

  • He, Jia

    () (National University of Singapore)

  • Liu, Haoming

    () (National University of Singapore)

  • Png, I. P. L.

    () (National University of Singapore)

  • Sing, Tien Foo

    () (National University of Singapore)

  • Wong, Wei-Kang

    () (National University of Singapore)

Abstract

For most people, buying a home is their single largest financial commitment. Previous research shows that Chinese buyers pay less for homes with unlucky addresses and more for homes with lucky addresses. Using Singapore data on housing transactions combined with a plethora of individual buyer characteristics including ethnicity, age, nationality, education, and employment, we study the source of these preferences. We find evidence that buyers are heterogeneous. Consistent with superstition, older people, those who suffered from more traffic accidents, and people buying new apartments have stronger preference for lucky addresses, while people with Western names and senior public-sector employees have weaker preference. Consistent with conspicuous spending, people with Western names, senior public-sector employees, and people buying in luxury districts have weaker preference for lucky addresses.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9899
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ng, Travis & Chong, Terence & Du, Xin, 2010. "The value of superstitions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 293-309, June.
    2. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    3. Nick Feltovich & Richmond Harbaugh & Ted To, 2002. "Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 630-649, Winter.
    4. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260.
    5. 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.
    6. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
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    9. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    superstition; conspicuous spending; real estate; prices; behavioral economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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