Italian Economic Journal

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 25–38 | Cite as

Are Consumers More Willing to Invest in Luck During Recessions?

  • Sara Capacci
  • Emanuela Randon
  • Antonello Eugenio Scorcu
Research Paper


We use monthly data on gross expenditure on luck and skill games in Italy to investigate whether people react to recessions investing in activities based on fortune or ability. Luck game expenditure is volatile and positively correlated with unemployment in economic downturns. Naive consumers tend to consider luck games as a potential source of additional income during recessions. Skill game expenditure is persistent over time and uncorrelated with the unemployment rate, suggesting a more balanced attitude of skill consumers. This study provides evidence on the prevailing behavior and reaction of expert or naïve consumers when facing economic downturns.


Gambling Great Recession Italy Unemployment 

JEL Classification

D12 L83 G01 



We thank two anonymous referees for helpful comments. Financial support from FARB (FFBO127297—University of Bologna) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Capacci
    • 1
  • Emanuela Randon
    • 1
  • Antonello Eugenio Scorcu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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