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

Author

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  • Brian G. Knight
  • Nathan Schiff

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian G. Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2010. "Spatial Competition and Cross-border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 15713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15713
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Knight, 2013. "State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 200-229, November.
    2. Agrawal, David R., 2014. "LOST in America: Evidence on local sales taxes from national panel data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 147-163.
    3. Chandra, Ambarish & Head, Keith & Tappata, Mariano, 2012. "Consumer Arbitrage Across a Porous Border," CEPR Discussion Papers 8730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:53-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andrés Leal & Julio López-Laborda & Fernando Rodrigo, 2014. "The Inside and Outside Revenue Impact of Regional Gambling Taxes in Spain," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 79-97, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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