The Creation and Administration of the Chinese Public Welfare Lottery

Austin Dean, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This paper examines the origins of the Chinese Welfare Lottery (Zhongguo fuli caipiao) in the context of economic and fiscal changes during the 1980s. It first describes the challenges faced by the Ministry of Civil Affairs bureaucracy (Minzheng ju) as it attempted to provide a number of services but had limited sources of revenue. The paper then proceeds to analyze the reasoning and justification for the creation of the welfare lottery in 1985 and 1986 and how supporters of the lottery answered critics who believed a lottery was a form of gambling and should be opposed. The final section chronicles the administration of the lottery in the late 1980s: how it was advertised and explained, who participated and why they did so, as well as how much revenue the lottery raised and how that money was used. The paper explores the intersection of government policy-making in the 1980s and how Chinese citizens understood and took part in these changes.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 262. Public Finance and Data in Chinese History