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Spatial Competition and Cross-border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries

  • Brian G. Knight
  • Nathan Schiff

This paper investigates competition between jurisdictions in the context of cross-border shopping for state lottery tickets. We first develop a simple theoretical model in which consumers choose between state lotteries and face a trade-off between travel costs and the price of a fair gamble, which is declining in the size of the jackpot and the odds of winning. Given this trade-off, the model predicts that per-resident sales should be more responsive to prices in small states with densely populated borders, relative to large states with sparsely populated borders. Our empirical analysis focuses on the multi-state games of Powerball and Mega Millions, and the identification strategy is based upon high-frequency variation in prices due to the rollover feature of lottery jackpots. The empirical results support the predictions of the model. The magnitude of these effects is large, suggesting that states do face competitive pressures from neighboring lotteries, but the effects vary significantly across states.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15713.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15713.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as Brian Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2012. "Spatial Competition and Cross-Border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 199-229, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15713
Note: PE POL
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  1. 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 458-73, March.
  2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
  5. Kearney, Melissa Schettini, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(2), pages 281-302, June.
  6. Friberg, Richard & Asplund, Marcus & Wilander, Fredrik, 2005. "Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 587, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2007. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," Discussion Papers 06-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2009.
  8. 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.
  9. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 203-30, June.
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  11. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:964-982 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Mark Edward Stover, 1990. "Contiguous state lotteries: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 565-568.
  13. Brown, Ryan P. & Rork, Jonathan C., 2005. "Copycat gaming: A spatial analysis of state lottery structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 795-807, November.
  14. Philip J. Cook & Charles T. Clotfelter, 1991. "The Peculiar Scale Economies of Lotto," NBER Working Papers 3766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  16. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
  17. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "State Lotteries and Consumer Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Oster, Emily, 2004. "Are All Lotteries Regressive? Evidence from the Powerball," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 179-87, June.
  19. Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2008. "$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 869-884, April.
  20. 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.
  21. Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," NBER Working Papers 11234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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