The State Lottery: Creating Social Inequality Across The Nation

Armen Hareyan's picture

Income Distribution and Lottery

A study published in the current issue of Policy Studies Journal finds that state-run lotteries have a serious effect on income distributions. More than taxes and other forms of gambling, lotteries promote the growth of inequality. That is, they aid the rich in getting richer and the poor in becoming poorer.


The authors used state-level data to evaluate the effects of various types of legalized gambling, slot machine parlors to lotteries, from 1976-1995. While various types of non-lottery gambling may produce a variety of outcomes, the authors found no evidence that they influence income equality. "When it comes to income inequality, all types of gambling are not created equal," they conclude.

This study is published in the May issue of Policy Studies Journal.

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