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Are we taxing ourselves?: How deliberation and experience shape voting on taxes

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  • Sausgruber, Rupert
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

We let consumers vote on tax regimes in experimental markets. We test if taxes on sellers are more popular than taxes on consumers, i.e. on voters themselves, even if taxes on sellers are inefficiently high. Taxes on sellers are more popular if voters underestimate the extent of tax-shifting in the market. We show that inexperienced voters are prone to such a tax-shifting bias, that experience is an effective de-biasing mechanism, but that pre-vote deliberation about tax regimes makes initially held opinions more extreme rather than correct. Our results suggest that voting on taxes is prone to bias and that easy-to-interpret facts are needed to de-bias voters.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Pages: 164-176

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1-2:p:164-176

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Tax-shifting Tax liability side equivalence Learning Deliberation Voting;

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Cited by:
  1. Rebecca B. Morton & Marco Piovesan & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2012. "The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-017, Harvard Business School.
  2. Ackermann, Hagen & Fochmann, Martin & Mihm, Benedikt, 2012. "Biased effects of taxes and subsidies on portfolio choices," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 138, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  3. Warziniack, Travis W. & Finnoff, David & Shogren, Jason F., 2013. "Public economics of hitchhiking species and tourism-based risk to ecosystem services," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 277-294.
  4. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto, 2009. "Redistributive Politics and Market Efficiency: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  6. Matthias Weber & Arthur Schram, 2013. "The Non-Equivalence of Labor Market Taxes: A Real-Effort Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-030/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2013. "Discriminatory Taxes are Unpopular - Even when they are Efficient and Distributionally Fair," Discussion Papers 13-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Ackermann, Hagen & Fochmann, Martin, 2014. "The effect of straight-line and accelerated depreciation rules on risky investment decisions: An experimental study," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 158, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  9. Tiezzi, Silvia & Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Time Delay and Support for Taxation," MPRA Paper 51233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Ackermann, Hagen & Fochmann, Martin & Mihm, Benedikt, 2013. "Biased effects of taxes and subsidies on portfolio choices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 23-26.

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