The Effect of Gambling on Health: Evidence from Canada
The relationship between gambling and health has important economic and public policy implications. We develop causal evidence about the relationship between recreational gambling and health using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) cycles 2.1, 3.1 and 4.1. Recreational gamblers are gamblers who are classifi ed as "non-problem" gamblers according to the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). Gambling is treated as an endogenous regressor in the health equations. The results of instrumental variable and bivariate probit models of participation in gambling and health outcomes indicate that recreational gambling has either no or a negative impact on the probability of having certain chronic conditions. These results diff er from studies that find a positive association between problem gambling and adverse health outcomes. Exogeneity tests suggest that gambling is endogenous; hence, empirical methods that address endogeneity are necessary to develop causal evidence of a relationship between gambling and health.
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