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Spatial Competition and Cross-border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries

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  • Brian G. Knight
  • Nathan Schiff

Abstract

This paper investigates competition between jurisdictions in the context of cross-border shopping for state lottery tickets. We first develop a simple theoretical model in which consumers choose between state lotteries and face a trade-off between travel costs and the price of a fair gamble, which is declining in the size of the jackpot and the odds of winning. Given this trade-off, the model predicts that per-resident sales should be more responsive to prices in small states with densely populated borders, relative to large states with sparsely populated borders. Our empirical analysis focuses on the multi-state games of Powerball and Mega Millions, and the identification strategy is based upon high-frequency variation in prices due to the rollover feature of lottery jackpots. The empirical results support the predictions of the model. The magnitude of these effects is large, suggesting that states do face competitive pressures from neighboring lotteries, but the effects vary significantly across states.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15713.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as Brian Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2012. "Spatial Competition and Cross-Border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 199-229, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15713

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  1. Clotfelter, Charles T & Cook, Philip J, 1990. "On the Economics of State Lotteries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 105-19, Fall.
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  4. Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," NBER Working Papers 11234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. 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.
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  13. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard & Wilander, Fredrik, 2007. "Demand and distance: Evidence on cross-border shopping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 141-157, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
  16. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2007. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," Discussion Papers 06-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2009.
  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. Kearney, Melissa Schettini, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(2), pages 281-302, June.
  19. Mark Edward Stover, 1990. "Contiguous state lotteries: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 565-568.
  20. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Brian G. Knight, 2011. "State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing," NBER Working Papers 17469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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