Superstition and farmers’ life insurance spending

Yun LIU, Yifei ZHANG, Xin CHEN, Yuxin YANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109975
JournalEconomics Letters
Early online date29 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Insurance
  • Rural household
  • Superstition

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