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Estimating the effect of unearned income on labor supply, earnings, savings and consumption: Evidence from a survey of lottery players

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Author Info

  • Imbens, G.W.
  • Rubin, D.
  • Sacerdote, B.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Knowledge of the effect of unearned income on economic behavior of individuals in general, and on labor supply in particular, is of great importance to policy makers. Estimation of income effects, however, is a difficult problem because income is not randomly assigned and exogenous changes in income are difficult to identify. Here we exploit the randomized assignment of large amounts of money over long periods of time through lotteries. We carried out a survey of people who played the lottery in the mid-eighties and estimate the effect of lottery winnings on their subsequent earnings, labor supply, consumption, and savings. We find that winning a modest prize ($15,000 per year for twenty years) does not affect labor supply or earnings substantially. Winning such a prize does not considerably reduce savings. Winning a much larger prize ($80,000 rather than $15,000 per year) reduces labor supply as measured by hours, as well as participation and social security earnings; elasticities for hours and earnings are around -0.20 and for participation around -0.14. Winning a large versus modest amount also leads to increased expenditures on cars and larger home values, although mortgages values appear to increase by approximately the same amount. Winning $80,000 increases overall savings, although savings in retirement accounts are not significantly affected. The results do not vary much by gender, age, or prior employment status. There is some evidence that for those with zero earnings prior to winning the lottery there is a positive effect of winning a small prize on subsequent labor market participation.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 99.34.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:99.34

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: income; labour supply; savings; consumption;

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References

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  1. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
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  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  4. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  5. Ashenfelter, Orley & Heckman, James J, 1974. "The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 73-85, January.
  6. Tomas Philipson, 1997. "Observational Agency and Supply-Side Econometrics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Do the Rich Save More?," NBER Working Papers 7906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Technical Problems in Social Experimentation: Cost versus Ease of Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Social Experimentation, pages 187-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1979. "Attrition Bias in Experimental and Panel Data: The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 455-73, March.
  11. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  12. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
  13. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Frank Stafford, 1985. "Income-Maintenance Policy and Work Effort: Learning from Experiments and Labor-Market Studies," NBER Chapters, in: Social Experimentation, pages 95-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael D. Hurd & Monika Reti & Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "The Effect of Large Capital Gains or Losses on Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 127-163 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Purvi Sevak, 2002. "Wealth Shocks and Retirement Timing: Evidence from the Nineties," Working Papers wp027, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Case Karl E. & Quigley John M. & Shiller Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, May.
  4. Looney, Adam & Singhal, Monica, 2006. "The Effect of Anticipated Tax Changes on Intertemporal Labor Supply and the Realization of Taxable Income," Working Paper Series rwp06-031, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "State Lotteries and Consumer Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jonathan A. Schwabish, 2005. "Regulating Underground Industry: An Economic Analysis of Sports Betting," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 36(1), pages 65-77.
  7. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
  9. Andrew Henley, 2004. "House Price Shocks, Windfall Gains and Hours of Work: British Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(4), pages 439-456, 09.
  10. Louis Kaplow, 2000. "A Framework for Assessing Estate and Gift Taxation," NBER Working Papers 7775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:fth:prinin:422 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Mishra, Ashok K. & Chang, Hung-Hao, 2012. "Can off farm employment affect the privatization of social safety net? The case of self-employed farm households," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 94-101.
  13. Ing-Haw Cheng & Eric French, 2000. "The effect of the run-up in the stock market on labor supply," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 48-65.
  14. Pizer, William & Imbens, Guido, 2000. "The Analysis of Randomized Experiments with Missing Data," Discussion Papers dp-00-19, Resources For the Future.

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