When the Cat's Away, the Mice Will Play: Gambling Behaviour of Visitors in Australia
AbstractWhat happens if national legal laws or enforcements and social norms are no longer able to directly regulate individual behaviour? According to our knowledge, not much empirical evidence has emerged answering such a seemingly simple question. The challenge is to distinguish between the effects of social norm and of legal enforcement. One way to explore such a question in an almost natural quasi-experimental setting is to focus on tourists? behaviour. Tourists are visiting another country for a relatively short period of time and are acting in a different (legal) environment where formal and informal rules are different to those found in their own country. Using data from Australia we focus on gambling activities since these are prohibited in some countries. We find that tourists from countries where gambling is prohibited spend a significantly larger share of their entertainment expenditure on gambling than those who come from countries where gambling is legalized. Thus, gambling increases ("mice play") without legal enforcement ("when the cat is away"). It is also noteworthy that there seems to be a lack of internalized social norms that would prevent tourists from partaking in these gambling activities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2010-05.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
gambling; legal enforcement; social norms;
Other versions of this item:
- Bin Dong & Benno Torgler, 2010. "When the Cat's Away, the Mice Will Play: Gambling Behaviour of Visitors in Australia," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 255, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-03-28 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-03-28 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-TUR-2010-03-28 (Tourism Economics)
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