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  2. 2018
  3. April
  4. Is love written in the stars? Beliefs in astrology and marriage outcomes

Apr

18

Wednesday

Is love written in the stars? Beliefs in astrology and marriage outcomes

3.00pm

Seminars

Public

Speaker: Dr Francesca Cornaglia (Queen Mary University of London)

Series: Department of Economics Seminar Series 2017-18

This seminar is part of the Department of Economics Seminar Series 2017-18. The seminars are open to all - no registration necessary. If you would like to receive email notification of the Department’s seminars, please send your request to Kim.Edmunds.1@city.ac.uk.

Abstract

Some beliefs, although distorted, false, or implausible, hold a grip on people, who may act according to them. We study the impact of astrological predictions on marriage outcomes. Astrology makes fairly consistent predictions about couples’ astrological compatibility, which depend on the sun signs of the two partners. We analyse the Spanish marriages and separations data over the period 2004-2015 and use Google Trends search of astrological compatibility at the regional and year level to measure beliefs in astrology.

We exploit time and regional varying Google searches of astrological compatibility to measure how astrological beliefs shift: (i) the decision to marry for couples whose astrological signs are compatible or incompatible according to astrological predictions; (ii) the duration of marriages for the same couples. We develop an economic model where the astrological prediction is a preference shock that affects the return of being in a relationship. Our results show that compatible couples are more likely to marry where astrological beliefs are stronger. When considering separations, our results suggest that compatible couples have a lower propensity to separate in areas where astrological beliefs are stronger.

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When & where

3.00pm - 4.30pmWednesday 18th April 2018

D427 Rhind Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1R 0JD United Kingdom