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An International Comparison and Analysis of Lotteries and the Distribution of Lottery Expenditures

  • Thomas Garrett

Lotteries are found in nearly half of the world's countries, with annual worldwide lottery ticket sales topping $115 billion. Despite the global presence of lottery games, there has been little research conducted on any international aspect of lotteries. This paper presents the first-ever examination and comparison of lottery games from around the world. Differences in both absolute and relative lottery expenditures are presented. Estimates for the income elasticity of demand for lottery tickets provide evidence on the distributional burden of lottery expenditures. These estimates consider each country by continental location and country income level. Further analysis reveals that lower income countries could adopt Lotto games in order to increase revenues. Recognizing that the distributional impact of lottery games is one of the greatest concerns surrounding lotteries, it is shown that the introduction of Lotto games does not significantly affect the distributional burden of lottery ticket expenditures. Given the international scope of lotteries and the availability of international lottery game data, the paper concludes by discussing future research on international lottery games.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 213-227

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:15:y:2001:i:2:p:213-227
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  1. Farrell, Lisa & Walker, Ian, 1999. "The welfare effects of lotto: evidence from the UK," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 99-120, April.
  2. Mikesell, John L., 1994. "State Lottery Sales and Economic Activity," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 165-71, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Quiggin, John, 1991. "On the Optimal Design of Lotteries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 1-16, February.
  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. Charles T. Clotfelter & Philip J. Cook, 1987. "Implicit Taxation in Lottery Finance," NBER Working Papers 2246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Scoggins, John F., 1995. "The Lotto and Expected Net Revenue," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 61-70, March.
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