Monday, 13 July 2015

Friday the 13th (Epilogue)

Just over a year ago, I wrote a paper (coauthored with J.D. Tena) on whether the number 13 and Friday the 13th really bring bad luck (see a short write up about it here: Friday the 13th). Specifically, we consider whether people born on the 13th (any day of the week) or on Friday the 13th were more or less lucky than other people. To measure luck, we look at mundane but important outcomes: employment, wages and marriage. Reassuringly, we find that those born on an unlucky day are little different from everyone else.

The paper was first circulated on Friday the 13th of June, 2014. It was issued as WP 13 of the Economics and Finance Working Paper Series at Brunel University. It counted exactly 13 pages.

When we submitted it for publication, it was rejected. Five times in five different journals.

Then, before submitting it for the sixth time, I changed the spacing from single to 1.5. This new version of our paper counted 16 rather than 13 pages.

That version was accepted for publication in Kyklos with only minor changes.

The lesson that budding researchers should take from this is clear. Don't submit single-spaced papers. Ever. It brings bad luck.