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Casino tourism, economic inequality, and housing bubbles

Xinhua Gu, Guoqiang Li, Xiao Chang and Haizhen Guo

Tourism Management, 2017, vol. 62, issue C, 253-263

Abstract: Potential linkages among tourism, inequality, and housing are addressed for an integrated analysis in this paper, with Macao treated as a typical case. Casino tourism, albeit performing as a major key to local economic growth, is ultimately vulnerable to external shocks to gambling demand, as evidenced by the current sharp downturn in Macao. We find that faster gaming growth leads to higher income inequality while at the same time both factors are responsible for soaring housing bubbles, which constitute the very source of social tensions as in Macao. Casino tourism if not well managed may not be a panacea for all development goals. The implication for policy derived from this study is that Macao must deal with underlying issues rather than apply palliative measures. Its market failures may necessitate government interventions to ensure social equity and sustainable tourism.

Keywords: Casino tourism; Unbalanced growth; Economic inequality; Housing bubbles; Macao (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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