Demography

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 499–524 | Cite as

The Income and Health Effects of Tribal Casino Gaming on American Indians

  • Barbara Wolfe
  • Jessica Jakubowski
  • Robert Haveman
  • Marissa Courey
Article

Abstract

The legalization of American Indian casino gaming in the late 1980s allows examination of the relationship between income and health in a quasi-experimental way. Revenue from gaming accrues to individual tribes and has been used both to supplement tribe members’ income and to finance tribal infrastructure. We assembled annual data from 1988–2003 on tribal gaming, health care access (from the Area Resource File), and individual health and socioeconomic characteristics data (from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System). We use this information within a structural, difference-in-differences framework to study the effect of casino gaming on tribal members’ income, health status, access to health care, and health-related behaviors. Our difference-in-differences framework relies on before-after comparisons among American Indians whose tribe has at some time operated a casino and with-without comparisons between American Indians whose tribe has and those whose tribe has not initiated gaming. Our results provide identified estimates of the positive effect of gaming on American Indian income and on several indicators of American Indian health, health-related behaviors, and access to health care.

Keywords

Income gradient Health American Indian health Social determinants 

Supplementary material

13524_2012_98_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (58 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 57 kb)
13524_2012_98_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (69 kb)
ESM 2(PDF 69 kb)
13524_2012_98_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (72 kb)
ESM 3(PDF 71 kb)

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Wolfe
    • 1
  • Jessica Jakubowski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Haveman
    • 1
  • Marissa Courey
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Research on PovertyUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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