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Voting for a Lottery

David Giacopassi, Mark Nichols and B. Grant Stitt
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David Giacopassi: University of Memphis, Tennessee
B. Grant Stitt: University of Nevada, Reno

Public Finance Review, 2006, vol. 34, issue 1, 80-100

Abstract: State lotteries have been adopted by thirty-eight states, primarily as a means of funding “good causes†or closing budgetary gaps. While several studies have identified the regressive nature of lotteries and factors responsible for their expansion, less is known about the underlying voting patterns that have driven this expansion. This article examines county-level voting patterns from the 2002 Tennessee lottery referendum and county-level lottery expenditures to determine whether voting reflects a latent demand for lottery or is a deliberate attempt to shift the tax burden. The results indicate that the percentage voting for lottery approval and lottery expenditure is not correlated with income and negatively correlated with education. Voting patterns are therefore similar to lottery participation, suggesting that voting reflects a latent demand for lottery. Lottery expenditure patterns for border counties exhibit familiar cross-border shopping patterns. Casino gambling is a substitute for instant but not online games.

Keywords: voting; lottery; latent demand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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