People born in the year of the dragon are said to be destined for wealth and success. Notable dragons include Bruce Lee, Deng Xiaoping, and Maggie Cheung. Some places in Asia are expecting and even wanting a baby boom during the year of the dragon. But does being born in the year of the dragon really give you an advantage? A study done at George Mason University attempted to find out. I was born in the year of the dragon, and I’d really wanted to read this study to see whether I am destined for great things.
What did the study find? George Mason University economics professors Noel D. Johnson and John V.C. Nye found that for some, there is an advantage! Asian American babies born in the 1976 year of the dragon have on average .34 more years of education than other Asian non-dragon babies. What is the cause of this difference? The study concludes the parents are the cause. Says Professor Nye:
“Belief in the superiority of dragon-year children is self-fulfilling. The demographic characteristics associated with parents who are more willing and able to adjust their birthing strategies are correlated with greater investment in their children.”
This can be seen as they found that immigrant Asian babies have as much as a half a year education advantage while in the general U.S. population, no advantage is seen by those born in the year of the dragon. My parents don’t pay attention to the Chinese Zodiac and thus were unlikely to have adjusted birthing strategies to accommodate the year. Oh well. I would have liked to have had a magical advantage in life!