The Economics of Gambling – 2014

January 27, 2014 – January 30, 2014 all-day America/New York Timezone
School of Economics
University of Cape Town
Cape Town, 7700
South Africa

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Gambling behavior incorporates a range of attitudes towards risk, and perceptions of risk. It fundamentally challenges the methodologies of several traditional academic disciplines, particularly in its manifestations as ‘problem’ or ‘addictive’ gambling. But even in its most controlled forms, it raises puzzles. As Milton Friedman asked decades ago, how are we to understand the fact that many people pay for gambles with miniscule expected values, while simultaneously paying for insurance policies that could not possibly optimize utility for a person as risk loving as their gambling behavior implies?

The longer-term objective of this workshop is to get together a group of academics with clear interests in the topic of gambling from a range of disciplines, ideally to help develop a multi-institution, multi-year research agenda. There are large, unexploited gains from having serious academic researchers get together more or less annually around this specific topic, and develop a tight network of researchers over a number of years. This year we, capitalizing on our discussions at the 2013 workshop held in Atlanta, we again focus mainly on gambling work by economists, but now with added emphasis on regulatory policy towards gambling.

We do not intend this network to be exclusionary, and expect it to evolve over the years naturally. Although there will be a strong contingent of economists participating, we are committed to involving other disciplines.