Title: Do Dragons have Better Fate?
Reference Number: 1091
Publication Date: May 2004
JEL Classifcation: J13, J18, Z12

Ka-fu Wong
The University of Hong Kong

Linda Yung
The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Traditionally, belief in the Chinese Zodiac promotes the superstition that the timing of one's birth determines one's fate. Adherence to this belief has resulted in increased birth rates during Dragon years and, hence, problems in the logistics of providing certain public goods and services (such as schools and medical services) by governments. Despite the possible economic impacts of this superstition on society, no previous study has attempted to test its validity. Using the 1991 and 1996 Hong Kong census data sets, as well as the standard "Return-to-Education" methodology, we do not find any evidence for this pervasive superstition.


Published in Economic Inquiry 43:3 (2005), pp. 689-697.

Key words: Superstition, earnings function, birth timing, Dragon

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Last modified: 01/24/2007