Income-related inequality in gambling: evidence from Italy
In this paper we document the income-related inequality in gambling. We employ a novel database from 2014–2017 waves of the Italian Population Survey on Alcohol and other Drugs (IPSAD) which also include information on the preferences for games of chance. Following the Erryegers Index, our findings suggest that traditional lotteries are concentrated among the richest individuals, while betting and new generation games tend to be pro-poor games. The decomposition of income-related inequalities reveals that pro-rich inequality observed in traditional games is mainly driven by gender, age, and working condition. Higher components of the pro-poor inequality observed in betting and new generation games come instead from income and age. Since the pro-poor games are also the major contributors of the growth in gambling turnover and the increase in gambling disorders, our results indicate that a relevant part of increasing social costs associated to gambling are more likely to be paid by the less-well off, and potentially most vulnerable members of the society.
KeywordsIncome Gambling Inequality Italy
JEL classificationsI12 I14
The authors wish to thank Vincenzo Carrieri, Owen O’Donnell, Paul Makdissi and Paolo Liberati for their useful suggestions. Furthermore, the authors are in debt with the participants of the Winter School 2019, HEALTH, OPPORTUNITIES AND REDISTRIBUTION held at Canazei 6–10 January 2019.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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