Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Many Chicagoans are getting shortchanged, particularly when it comes to the money-exchange process between the Illinois Lottery (IL) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). In Illinois, a significant portion of lottery-generated revenues is earmarked to finance public education. Because these revenues are not generated equally across Chicago, some communities contribute more to education via the lottery than others. When these revenues are distributed in such a way that transfers money from one community to another, one community's fiscal gain comes at another's expense. So the question stands: Who plays and who pays? To answer this question, I measure the economic incidence of the money-exchange process between the IL and ISBE. My focus, however, is limited to the city of Chicago as a case study. In other words, I simultaneously compare the generation of lottery revenues to the appropriations of these funds, all within the city limits of Chicago. My hypothesis, or wager if you will, predicts that the money-exchange process, between the IL and ISBE, transfers resources from marginalized to mainstream communities, and that this process is inherently racialized. I estimate that lottery-generated revenues disproportionately come from communities that are predominately comprised by people of color, specifically blacks and Latina/os. These funds are then redistributed in such a way that racially marginalized communities subsidize education, a public service to which everyone is entitled.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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