The Lottery, Educatiion, and the Southern States: A Measure of Utility in per Pupil Expenditures among Lottery States in the South

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. State operated lotteries have recently been asserted by public administrators and academicians as panaceas for eradicating revenue disparities existing across public school districts in the American states. The purpose of this research project is to empirically confirm the accusations against attributing credibility to this social intervention program because educational disparity portrays a grave injustice in the U.S. Pooled time series cross sectional analysis is the methodology mechanism employed to test the data in this research project. This study found that lotteries, since their inception, despite expressed high regards, display insufficient significance in generating revenue for educational programs in the southern states. One highly probable reason for the lottery's insignificant effect in generating educational revenue is the idea of fungibility. One of the major limitations of this study is the small sample size of only using southern states to test the theory that lotteries contribute significantly to educational expenditures in the southern states of America. Using pooled time series cross sectional analysis of all fifty states is a highly recommended approach for future studies concerned with assessing the impact of lotteries on public education expenditures.

INTRODUCTION

The growth of lotteries and other forms of gaming has encountered extreme opposition from adversaries of this revenue heightening device. Various citizens consider gambling immoral, contending that gaming burdens the less affluent in society. Opponents postulate that lotteries are institutional mechanisms used by the establishment for exploiting the poor. The captivation of lotteries draws those individuals of less affluent societal membership into the mechanisms' alluring grasp by painting a glamorous picture of wealth and fame (Geary, 1997). The homogenized critics postulate that the social costs in terms of gambling addictions and increased crimes associated with supporting these addictions present major challenges for society.

Numerous studies representing the positive and negative aspects of these social interventions, and the damaging social implications of these revenueenhancing programs, permeate the academic literature on lotteries. This examination differs from other expositions on lotteries because the project assesses the impact of lottery contributions on public education in southern states over a period of time. Currently Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Georgia operate lotteries that contribute large amounts of revenue to their public educational systems. On the other hand, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina circumvent lotteries. Since the implementation of lotteries have southern states experienced a substantial increase in public education expenditures? The absence of empirical research assessing the impact of lotteries in regards to increasing public educational funds over a period of time and predicting the future affect of lotteries on education contributes to the necessity of this project. This project will be successful if the empirical analysis demonstrates whether lotteries have considerably impacted public education expenditures in the southern states. In this event, this document will serve as evidence that states such as Mississippi, which have a tremendous amount of revenue from other games of chance, should follow suit by enhancing its public education system or diverting gaming expenditures to other social intervention programs such as economic development.

The following sections of this research project incorporate a literature review that assesses the recent arguments regarding lotteries and their use for enhancing public education. Thereafter, a theory that establishes the direction of the research along with the numerous hypotheses for empirical analyses are found. A methodological and data section that addresses the specific methods used in testing the stated hypothesis along with the findings and conclusions of this research project compose the latter sections of this document. …