Evaluating the economic impact of casino liberalization in Macao

Abstract

This paper aims to evaluate the economic impact after Macao decided to liberalize its gaming industry. By analysing both objective data of official statistics and subjective data of the perceptions of quality of life, we painted a picture of mixed blessings. Although objective indicators showed strong economic growth in terms of a rise in per capita GDP and public revenue as well as a decline in unemployment rate, subjective indicators revealed that local residents were less than optimistic about their own employment outlook and did not perceive any improvement in their overall economic situation. While casino liberalization brought forth tremendous economic gain, the general population did not subjectively feel the benefits. An integrative analysis of both objective and subjective indicators would therefore allow us to look closer how residents’ lives in the micro-level could have been adversely affected by the prosperous economic outlook at the macro-level.

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