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Optimal Taxation of Gambling and Lotto

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  • Walther Herbert

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    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)

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    Abstract

    Bets are analyzed using an intertemporal, state dependent expected utility model with non-linear probability weighting. Gamblers face a tradeoff between long-run expected utility from wealth and the short-run and fading emotional utility from gambling. Different wager tax bets, including lotto, are compared in various settings (fair bet versus monopoly). Reaction patterns are analyzed with respect to tax rates, the price of tickets, jackpots and the ’scale’ of the gamble. It is shown that optimal tax rates are higher for larger lotto communities, jackpots induce overshooting ’bubbles’ and taxes on lotto and fix-prize gambles are regressive.

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    File URL: http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/inst/vw1/gee/papers/geewp47.pdf
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    Paper provided by Vienna University of Economics Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness in its series Working Papers with number geewp47.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp47

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    1. Scott, Frank A, Jr & Gulley, O David, 1995. "Testing for Efficiency in Lotto Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 175-88, April.
    2. Gulley, O. David & Scott, Frank A. Jr., 1993. "The Demand for Wagering on State-Operated Lotto Games," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(1), pages 13-22, March.
    3. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    4. Ian Walker, 1998. "The economic analysis of lotteries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 357-402, October.
    5. William R. Eadington, 1999. "The Economics of Casino Gambling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 173-192, Summer.
    6. Philip J. Cook & Charles T. Clotfelter, 1991. "The Peculiar Scale Economies of Lotto," NBER Working Papers 3766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Quiggin, John, 1991. "On the Optimal Design of Lotteries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 1-16, February.
    8. Shapira, Zur & Venezia, Itzhak, 1992. "Size and frequency of prizes as determinants of the demand for lotteries," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 307-318, July.
    9. Walther, Herbert, 2003. "Normal-randomness expected utility, time preference and emotional distortions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 253-266, October.
    10. Matheson, Victor A. & Grote, Kent R., 2004. "Lotto fever: do lottery players act rationally around large jackpots?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 233-237, May.
    11. Lattimore, Pamela K. & Baker, Joanna R. & Witte, Ann D., 1992. "The influence of probability on risky choice: A parametric examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 377-400, May.
    12. Pamela K. Lattimore & Joanna R. Baker & A. Dryden Witte, 1992. "The Influence Of Probability on Risky Choice: A parametric Examination," NBER Technical Working Papers 0081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Walker, Ian & Young, Juliet, 2001. "An Economist's Guide to Lottery Design," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F700-722, November.
    16. Beenstock, Michael & Haitovsky, Yoel, 2001. "Lottomania and other anomalies in the market for lotto," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 721-744, December.
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