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The Value of Superstitions

Author

Listed:
  • Ng, Travis
  • Chong, Terence
  • 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 in turn justifies their persistence in human civilization. We also show that such a value, though based inherently on irrational beliefs, would respond to changes in a manner consistent with economic intuition. In addition, the paper contributes to the recently-heated debate on whether recessions draw people to churches; our results are consistent with people being more superstitious in bad times.

Suggested Citation

  • Ng, Travis & Chong, Terence & Xin, Du, 2009. "The Value of Superstitions," MPRA Paper 13575, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vinci Chow, 2019. "Predicting Auction Price of Vehicle License Plate with Deep Residual Learning," Papers 1910.04879, arXiv.org.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Invernizzi, Giovanna M. & Miller, Joshua B. & Coen, Tommaso & Dufwenberg, Martin & Oliveira, Luiz Edgard R., 2021. "Tra i Leoni: Revealing the preferences behind a superstition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    5. Brad R. Humphreys & Adam Nowak & Yang Zhou, 2017. "Chinese Superstition and Real Estate Prices: Transaction-level Evidence from the US Housing Market," Working Papers 17-18, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    6. Déborah Marciano & Eden Krispin & Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Leon Y. Deouell, 2019. "Limited resources or limited luck? Why people perceive an illusory negative correlation between the outcomes of choice options despite unequivocal evidence for independence," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 14(5), pages 573-590, September.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Wei-han Liu, 2013. "Lunar calendar effect: evidence of the Chinese Farmer's Calendar on the equity markets in East Asia," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 560-593.
    10. 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.
    11. Jia He & Haoming Liu & Tien Foo Sing & Changcheng Song & Wei-Kang Wong, 2020. "Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Market: Evidence from Singapore," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 783-804, February.
    12. Krzysztof Borowski, 2019. "Should Investors on Equity Markets Be Superstitious? (Example of 7 World Stock Indexes Components)," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 11(1), pages 151-174, January.
    13. Weng, Pei-Shih, 2018. "Lucky issuance: The role of numerological superstitions in irrational return premiums," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 79-91.
    14. 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.
    15. Vinci Chow, 2017. "Predicting Auction Price of Vehicle License Plate with Deep Recurrent Neural Network," Papers 1701.08711, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2019.
    16. 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.
    17. Woei-Chyuan Wong & Nur Adiana Hiau Abdullah & Hock-Eam Lim, 2019. "The Value Of Chinese Superstitions In Malaysia: Evidence From Car Plate Auctioning," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 64(01), pages 115-137, March.
    18. Lawrence Hoc Nang Fong & Desmond Lam & Davis Ka Chio Fong, 2018. "Controllable superstition and its relationship with enduring and behavioural involvement in gambling," International Gambling Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 92-110, January.
    19. Tao Chen & Andreas Karathanasopoulos & Stanley Iat-Meng Ko & Chia Chun Lo, 2020. "Lucky lots and unlucky investors," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 735-751, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Superstitions; Auction;

    JEL classification:

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

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