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Is Lottery Gambling Addictive?

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Guryan
  • Melissa S. Kearney

Abstract

We present an empirical test for the addictiveness of lottery gambling that exploits an exogenous shock to local market consumption of lottery gambling. It uses the sale of a winning jackpot ticket in a zip code as an instrument for present consumption and tests for a causal relationship between present and future consumption. This test estimates the time path of persistence nonparametrically. Data from the Texas State Lottery suggests that after 6 months, roughly half of the initial increase in lottery consumption is maintained. After 18 months, roughly 40 percent of the initial shock persists, though estimates become less precise. (JEL D12, H27, H71)

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Guryan & Melissa S. Kearney, 2010. "Is Lottery Gambling Addictive?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 90-110, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:90-110
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.3.90
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boyer, Marcel, 1978. "A Habit Forming Optimal Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(3), pages 585-609, October.
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    6. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    7. Kearney, Melissa Schettini, 2005. "State lotteries and consumer behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2269-2299, December.
    8. Charles T. Clotfelter & Philip J. Cook, 1991. "The "Gambler's Fallacy" in Lottery Play," NBER Working Papers 3769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jonathan Guryan & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Gambling at Lucky Stores: Empirical Evidence from State Lottery Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 458-473, March.
    10. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    11. Oster, Emily, 2004. "Are All Lotteries Regressive? Evidence From the Powerball," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 179-187, June.
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    13. 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 513-526, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kent R. Grote & Victor A. Matheson, 2014. "The Impact of State Lotteries and Casinos on State Bankruptcy Filings," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 121-135, March.
    2. Aidan R. Vining & David L. Weimer, 2013. "An assessment of important issues concerning the application of benefit–cost analysis to social policy," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 1, pages 25-62 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: An Annotated Bibliography," Working Papers 1110, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    4. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "Media exposure and individual choices: Evidence from lottery players," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 385-391.
    5. Brad Humphreys & Levi Perez, 2012. "Network externalities in consumer spending on lottery games: evidence from Spain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 929-945, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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