Superstition is prevalent in rural areas, yet very few studies examine whether it affects rural households’ economic decisions. In this paper, we investigate the impact of “zodiac year” superstition on Chinese rural households’ life insurance spending. We find a statistically significant 18.5% increase in life insurance expenditure during the head’s zodiac year. Such a boost is only significant in the zodiac year and does not exist in non-zodiac years. Our study provides novel evidence that rural households would hedge “bad luck” by self-insurance when bearing superstitious beliefs.
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- Rural household