The bi-directional relationship between gambling and addictive substances

Working Paper CRENoS, No. 2014-03, (with A.Bussu)

The aim of this study is to measure the impact of gambling activity on health among a sample of 709 gamblers in Sardinia (Italy). In fact, gambling is often associated with other lifestyle risk factors that increase the negative effect of such activity. In this paper a multivariate probit approach is proposed in order to document the relationship between gambling expenditures and other addictive behaviours, namely smoking, alcohol and drugs consumption, controlling for a set of individual and gambling characteristics along with emotional and psychological factors. The findings show a bidirectional effect between gambling involvement and alcohol and drugs consumption. Moreover, betting more money leads to an increase in the propensity to consume tobacco in the middle of the game. Then, the co-occurrence of two and/or three of the addictive substances under study drives up the probability to get more involved in gambling activity.

The effect of socio-economic and emotional factors on gambling behaviour

Working Paper CRENoS, No. 2013-05, (with A.Bussu)

Gambling represents a channel through which some relevant aspects of our social life, such as audacity, competition and risk, manifest themselves. Gambling is both a pleasing diversion and a way of socialisation, where gratification and problematic issues alternate. Most gamblers are social players who participate in games without any relevant implications on their life, regardless of how frequently they engage in the activity. Unfortunately, in some cases gaming activities can have a dramatic impact on the player to the point that he/she has little control over them. In such cases, the approach to gaming can be defined as critical or even pathological. Pathological gambling is a serious form of addiction that causes gamblers to suffer from social and financial problems as they constantly look for ways to increase their “dose”. This study proposes a bivariate ordered probit approach aimed at examining the emotional factors of gambling expenditures and problematic behaviour or addiction while also controlling for socio-economic determinants. It is based on a survey among 1,315 gamblers in Sardinia (Italy) in the time span from June 2004 to March 2005. To measure gambling-related problems and gaming addiction we use survey responses on the existence of problems caused by game participation (in terms of psychological, relational, economic, labour difficulties directly linked to gambling) and on the need for help and/or the intention to stop the gambling experience. The findings show that women bet less than men and that income and gambling frequency are positively correlated with the amount of money allocated to gambling. Furthermore, having a sense of omnipotence and being willing to replay in case of a win increase the propensity to bet more money. Notably, women have a higher probability to be problematic gamblers after controlling for all other characteristics. Income is negatively associated with problematic gamblers while those who experience guilt or frustration after a loss and bet a higher amount of money have a higher probability of exhibiting gambling-related problems. Those who have other players in their family (wife/husband, children, brother/sister, parents and grandparents), do not play alone and gamble for many hours a day have a higher probability to become pathological gamblers. In addition, income positively affects the probability to have pathological consequences while education is negatively correlated to it. Finally, experiencing satisfaction in case of a win, disappointment in case of loss and excitement in the middle of the game is negatively associated with pathological players.

The economic consequences of crime in Italy

Working Paper CRENoS, No. 2013-03, (with O.Carboni)

Abstract: This paper employs provincial data to study the relationship between several crime typologies, namely murder, theft, robbery and fraud, and economic output in Italy. We employ a spatial econometric approach where the spatial proximity is defined by a measure of physical distance between locations, in order to take into account possible spill-over effects. The model used here combines a spatial autoregressive model with autoregressive disturbances. In modelling the outcome for each location depends on a weighted average of the outcomes of other locations. Outcomes are determined simultaneously. The results of the spatial two stage least square estimation suggest that the homicide rate has a negative impact on Italian gross domestic product while theft, robbery and fraud do not affect economic output and that there are beneficial spill-overs from neighbouring provinces.

Comparative efficiency of producer cooperatives and conventional firms in a sample of quasi-twin companies

Working Paper CRENoS, No. 2012-28, (with M.G. Brandano and M. Vannini)

Abstract: We investigate the comparative technical efficiency of producer cooperatives (PCs) and conventional firms (CFs) by looking at the performance of a mixed sample of Sardinian wine producing companies over the period 2004-2009. Thanks to the similarity of the habitats in which the firms operate, the peculiarities of the production environment, and the careful measurement of some key inputs through suitable aggregation of accounting data, the observed units are “twins” in all nonorganizational respects, providing one natural setting for comparative work. The analysis is carried out in two steps: in the first, technical efficiency indicators for each firm in each year are calculated using DEA with reference to a common production frontier. Subsequently, the measured efficiency scores become the dependent variables of a pooled truncated maximum likelihood regression in which we control for both internal and external effects and firm type. Moreover, a double bootstrap procedure is run to compute the standard errors and confidence intervals of the coefficients estimates. According to our findings cooperatives are less technically efficient than their capitalist counterparts. A result which is particularly worrying in light of the forthcoming liberalization of the EU wine sector and the unique economic and social role played by cooperatives in the rural world.

Do managerial skills matter? An analysis of the impact of managerial features on performance for the Italian football

Working Paper CRENoS, No. 2012-20(with J.Tena and D.Paolini)

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of a set of managerial features on performance in the top division of the Italian football league during seasons 2000/01-2009/10. Our set of coach characteristics includes indicators of skill, experience, innate features as well as empathy with the team. We find that some managerial features matter even when we control by club power and past results. Indeed, performance is positively correlated with the fact that the manager has experience abroad or has been a previous player of the team but negatively correlated with lack of previous managerial experience. Other features affect only some particular aspects of performance. In particular, Italian managers play a more defensive game in home matches while old managers are more defensive in away games. Also, changing a coach within the season has a negative impact on the defensive skill of the team in away matches.