Superstition in the Housing Market
41 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2013
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.
Keywords: superstition, lucky Chinese numbers, housing markets efficiency, immigration
JEL Classification: D03, J15, R2, Z1
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