News Release

The State lottery: Creating social inequality across the nation

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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. Media wishing to receive a PDF, please contact

The primary focus of the Policy Studies Journal (PSJ) is the study of public policy. Published on behalf of the Policy Studies Organization and the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association, PSJ publishes individually-submitted articles and symposia of exceptional quality by social scientists and other public policy researchers and leaders around the world.

Irwin L. Morris is an associate professor and the director of graduate studies in the department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has published in numerous books and journals. Dr. Morris is available for media questions and interviews.

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with 665 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date, has published more than 6,000 books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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