Is it a superstition that babies born in a Year of the Dragon will have good luck?  The Taiwanese government wanted to dispell the superstition.

The demographic spike in 1976 was sufficiently large that governments decided to issue warnings in 1987 against having babies in Dragon years because of the problems they caused for the educational system, particularly with respect to finding teachers and classroom space. Editorials were issued that claimed no special luck or intelligence for Dragon babies and a government program in Taiwan was designed to alert parents to the special problems faced by children born in an unusually large cohort (Goodkind, 1991, p. 677 cites multiple newspaper accounts of this).

But the effort failed and another spike was seen in 1988.  Why?  Because the dragon superstition is true. In this paper by Johnson and Nye, among Asian immigrants to the US, those born in Dragon years are compared to those born in non-Dragon years.  Dragon babies are more successful as measured in terms of educational attainment.  And the difference is larger than the corresponding difference for other US residents.

And of course it turns out that this is due to the self-fulfilling nature of the superstition.  Asian Dragon babies have parents who are more successful and they are more likely to have altered their fertility timing in order to have a baby in a Dragon year.  Is this because the smarter parents were more likely to be dumb enough to believe the superstition?

Or is it because of statistical discrimination?  Since the Dragon superstition is true, being a Dragon is a signal of talent and luck.  Unless these traits are observable without error, even unlucky and untalented Dragons will be treated preferentially relative to unlucky and untalented non-Dragons.  Smart parents know this and wait until Dragon years.

Thanks to Toomas Hinnosaar for the pointer.