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The Effect of Recreational Gambling on Health and Well-Being

Brad Humphreys, John A. Nyman () and Jane E. Ruseski ()
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John A. Nyman: University of Minnesota
Jane E. Ruseski: West Virginia University

Eastern Economic Journal, 2021, vol. 47, issue 1, No 3, 29-75

Abstract: Abstract The relationship between gambling and health has important economic and public policy implications. We develop causal evidence on this relationship exploiting regional variation in access to legal gambling. Empirical models treat gambling as an endogenous regressor in explaining variation in health outcomes. Results from instrumental variable and bivariate probit models show recreational gambling has no or a negative impact on the probability of having certain chronic health conditions and a positive impact on life satisfaction. Past research generally found a positive association between problem gambling and adverse health outcomes. The generation of some positive health benefits provides important context for the expansion of legal sports betting in the USA following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018.

Keywords: Gambling; Health; Well-being; Bivariate probit; Instrumental variables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s41302-020-00181-5

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