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Institutions and Casinos on American Indian Reservations: An Empirical Analysis of the Location of Indian Casinos

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  • J. Anthony Cookson

Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the institutional determinants of whether a tribal government invests in a casino. I find that the presence of Indian casinos is strongly related to plausibly exogenous variation in reservations' legal and political institutions. Tribal governments that can negotiate gaming compacts with multiple state governments, because tribal lands span state borders, had more than twice the estimated probability (.77 versus .32) of operating an Indian casino in 1999. Tribal governments of reservations where contracts are adjudicated in state courts, rather than tribal courts, have more than twice the estimated probability (.76 versus .34) of investing in an Indian casino, ceteris paribus. These findings suggest that states' political pressures and predictable judiciaries affect incentives to invest in casinos. This study contributes, more generally, to the empirical literature on the effects of institutions by providing new evidence that low-cost contracting is important for taking advantage of substantial investment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Anthony Cookson, 2010. "Institutions and Casinos on American Indian Reservations: An Empirical Analysis of the Location of Indian Casinos," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 651-687.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/649030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Akee, Randall & Jorgensen, Miriam & Sunde, Uwe, 2015. "Critical junctures and economic development – Evidence from the adoption of constitutions among American Indian Nations," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 844-861.
    2. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Guse, A. Joseph & Todd, Richard M., 2015. "Consumer credit on American Indian reservations," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 518-540.
    3. repec:pal:compes:v:60:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1057_s41294-018-0064-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl & Peter Grajzl & A. Joseph Guse & Richard M. Todd & Michael Williams, 2018. "Neighborhood Racial Characteristics, Credit History, and Bankcard Credit in Indian Country," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(3), pages 410-441, September.
    5. Colleen Honigsberg & Sharon Katz & Gil Sadka, 2014. "State Contract Law and Debt Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 1031-1061.

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