Tribal Gaming Per Cap Payments May Decrease Labor Productivity and Increase Fertility (?!?!)

Here is a study of the effects of gaming per capita payments on tribal members of three Michigan tribes (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians). In line with the 1491s’ hilarious video in which a candidate for tribal office runs on the platform of “progression, procreation, per cap,” the study suggests that tribal members receiving per caps leads to “decreased work efforts,” while “weak” evidence exists that per cap payments increase fertility. Enjoy.

Here is the study:

The Effects of Per Capita Tribal Payments on the Fertility, Education, and Labor Force Participation of Tribal Members

The abstract:

The purpose of this research is to provide a preliminary examination of the effects of per capita tribal payments on the decision making of tribal members. Standard  microeconomic theory suggests that unearned income changes the labor-leisure tradeoff in utility maximization models. While the results of per capita payments on hours of work can be easily anticipated, the effects of these payments on human capital accumulation and family size are more ambiguous. Using Census data from 1990 and 2000 we shed some light on the impact of these per capita tribal payments on the lives of the recipients. We concentrate on three tribes in the state of Michigan: the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan. The results lend support to the basic labor theory conclusion that an increase in nonlabor income causes individuals to decrease their work efforts. There is also weak evidence that the payment of per capita payments from casino profits is increasing the fertility rate of Saginaw Chippewa tribal families.

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, gaming, IGRA, Scholarship and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Tribal Gaming Per Cap Payments May Decrease Labor Productivity and Increase Fertility (?!?!)

  1. Pretty darned disturbing!

  2. Bethany Berger says:

    There must be a better way to study this–the paper compares the tribal populations in the 1990 and 2000 censuses, but as they acknowledge the tribal populations in 2000 are completely different–half to two-thirds are people who only enrolled since 1990, so we don’t really have a comparison group. Also, isn’t there yet 2010 census data on this?

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  4. m says:

    What exactly is meant by decreased work efforts? My per capita payment allows me to be at home to raise my children while my husband works. If I didn’t have it I would probably have a part time job just to pay for the fun extras in life but while missing key important stages in my children’s lives. Where’s the data that shows the long term effects of the children’s lives they were greatly improved by having the luxury of a stay at home mom?

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