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Income and lottery sales: transfers trump income from work and wealth

  • Cletus C. Coughlin
  • Thomas A. Garrett

Previous studies have examined the effect of income on lottery ticket expenditures using an aggregate measure of income, usually personal income. Reasons exist, however, for believing that lottery expenditures do not respond equally to all sources of income. This paper examines the propensity to purchase lottery tickets from separate types of income, namely income from earnings, transfer payments, and wealth. Using county-level data for five states, we find evidence that lottery expenditures respond differently to changes in each income type, and that ticket purchases are most strongly influenced by changes in transfer payments. Several policy implications follow from our results.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2008-004.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2008-004
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  1. John Laitner, 1999. "Means Tested Public Assistance and the Demand for State Lottery Tickets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 273-290, January.
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  9. Karl E. Case, John M. Quigley, Robert J. Shiller., 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus The Housing Market," Economics Working Papers E01-308, University of California at Berkeley.
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  11. 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.
  12. William M. Rodgers & Charles Stuart, 1995. "The Efficiency of a Lottery as a Source of Public Revenue," Public Finance Review, , vol. 23(2), pages 242-254, April.
  13. Price, Donald I. & Novak, E. Shawn, 1999. "The Tax Incidence of Three Texas Lottery Games: Regressivity, Race, and Education," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 741-52, December.
  14. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2001. "Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Labor Earnings, Savings, and Consumption: Evidence from a Survey of Lottery Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 778-794, September.
  15. Browning, Edgar K, 1976. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 283-98, April.
  16. Holbrook, Robert & Stafford, Frank P, 1971. "The Propensity to Consume Separate Types of Income: A Generalized Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 1-21, January.
  17. Hymans, Saul H. & Shapiro, Harold T., 1976. "The allocation of household income to food consumption," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 167-188, May.
  18. 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 513-26, November.
  19. 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.
  20. Thomas A. Garrett & Cletus C. Coughlin, 2007. "Inter-temporal differences in the income elasticity of demand for lottery tickets," Working Papers 2007-042, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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