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Inter-temporal differences in the income elasticity of demand for lottery tickets

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  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Cletus C. Coughlin

Abstract

We estimate annual income elasticities of demand for lottery tickets using roughly twenty years of county-level data for three states. We find that the income elasticity of demand (and thus the tax burden) for lottery tickets has changed over time. We argue that these changes are due to changes in a state's lottery game portfolio and the growth in consumer income. Trends in the income elasticity of demand for instant and online lottery games appear to be different. Our results question the long-term growth potential of lottery revenue and have policy implications for state governments and those concerned about regressivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-042.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-042

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Keywords: Gambling industry ; Income;

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  1. Mary O. Borg & Paul M. Mason & Stephen L. Shapiro, 1993. "The Cross Effects of Lottery Taxes On Alternative State Tax Revenue," Public Finance Review, , vol. 21(2), pages 123-140, April.
  2. Garrett, Thomas A. & Sobel, Russell S., 1999. "Gamblers favor skewness, not risk: Further evidence from United States' lottery games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 85-90, April.
  3. Tosun, Mehmet Serkan & Skidmore, Mark, 2004. "Interstate Competition and State Lottery Revenues," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 163-78, June.
  4. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "State Lotteries and Consumer Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Charles T. Clotfelter & Philip J. Cook, 1989. "Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot89-1, May.
  6. Olney, Martha L., 1990. "Demand for consumer durable goods in 20th century America," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 322-349, July.
  7. Farrell, Lisa & Morgenroth, Edgar & Walker, Ian, 1999. " A Time Series Analysis of U.K. Lottery Sales: Long and Short Run Price Elasticities," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 513-26, November.
  8. Donald S. Elliott & John C. Navin, 2002. "Has Riverboat Gambling Reduced State Lottery Revenue?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 235-247, May.
  9. Cook, Philip J & Clotfelter, Charles T, 1993. "The Peculiar Scale Economies of Lotto," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 634-43, June.
  10. Forrest, David & Gulley, O. David & Simmons, Robert, 2000. "Elasticity of Demand for UK National Lottery Tickets," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 853-64, December.
  11. Scott, Frank & Garen, John, 1994. "Probability of purchase, amount of purchase, and the demographic incidence of the lottery tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 121-143, May.
  12. Price, Donald I. & Novak, E. Shawn, 1999. "The Tax Incidence of Three Texas Lottery Games: Regressivity, Race, and Education," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 741-52, December.
  13. Mikesell, John L., 1994. "State Lottery Sales and Economic Activity," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 165-71, March.
  14. Lo, Melody & Sawyer, W. Charles & Sprinkle, Richard L., 2007. "The link between economic development and the income elasticity of import demand," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 133-140.
  15. Garrett, Thomas A. & Marsh, Thomas L., 2002. "The revenue impacts of cross-border lottery shopping in the presence of spatial autocorrelation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 501-519, July.
  16. Quiggin, John, 1991. "On the Optimal Design of Lotteries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 1-16, February.
  17. Oster, Emily, 2004. "Are All Lotteries Regressive? Evidence from the Powerball," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 179-87, June.
  18. Cletus C. Coughlin & Thomas A. Garrett & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2006. "The geography, economics, and politics of lottery adoption," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 165-180.
  19. Ann Hansen, 1995. "The Tax Incidence of the Colorado State Lottery Instant Game," Public Finance Review, , vol. 23(3), pages 385-398, July.
  20. Alm, James & McKee, Michael J. & Skidmore, Mark, 1993. "Fiscal Pressure, Tax Competition, and the Introduction of State Lotteries," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 463-76, December.
  21. Sobel, Russell S. & Holcombe, Randall G., 1996. "Measuring the Growth and Variability of Tax Bases over the Business Cycle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 535-52, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: A Survey of the Literature," Working Papers 1109, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  2. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: An Annotated Bibliography," Working Papers 1110, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  3. Thomas A. Garrett & Natalia Kolesnikova, 2010. "Local price variation and the tax incidence of state lotteries," Working Papers 2010-035, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Thomas A. Garrett, 2011. "A closer look at the tax incidence of instant lottery games: an analysis by price point," Working Papers 2011-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. William F. Fox, 2010. "Can state and local governments rely on alternative tax sources?," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Oct, pages 88-101.
  6. Cletus C. Coughlin & Thomas A. Garrett, 2008. "Income and lottery sales: transfers trump income from work and wealth," Working Papers 2008-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2013. "The Impact of State Lotteries and Casinos on State Bankruptcy Filings," Working Papers 1302, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.

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