Why do people play lottery in groups? It’s more about reproducing social ties, than profit maximization

Sharing lottery tickets with co-workers or friends may create agency problems related to opportunism in addition to the fact that playing the lottery in general is tantamount to buying an asset with negative expected value. So why do people form a lottery pool?   In “Embedded Play: Economic and Social Motivations for Sharing Lottery Tickets” (free access) Mauro F. Guillén, Roberto Garvía and Andrés Santana show that people play the lottery in syndicates primarily for social reasons: they engage in this practice to enact, cement or reproduce social ties and interpersonal trust. This is a great research: as it is short, it is full of economic sociology insights wich undermine (neo-classical) economics assumptions.

Lottery winners

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