Department of Economics
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2017||Can Superstition Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? School Outcomes of Dragon Children of China|
with Naci H. Mocan: w23709
In Chinese culture those who are born in the year of the Dragon under the zodiac calendar are believed to be destined for good fortune and greatness, and parents prefer their kids to be born in a Dragon year. Using province level panel data we show that the number of marriages goes up during the two years preceding a Dragon year and that births jump up in a Dragon year. Using three recently collected micro data sets from China we show that those born in a Dragon year are more likely to have a college education, and that they obtain higher scores at the university entrance exam. Similarly, Chinese middle school students have higher test scores if they are born in a Dragon year. We show that these results are not because of family background, student cognitive ability, self-esteem or student...