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Opinions on Tax Deductions and the Consensus Effect in a Survey-Experiment

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Author Info

  • Heijden, E.C.M. van der
  • Nelissen, J.H.M.
  • Potters, J.J.M.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We present the results of a survey-experiment using a representative sample of the Dutch population in which we relate respondents' opinion about the tax deductibility of mortgages to their estimates about other people's opinion.The experiment employs three treatment variables: monetary incentives, the provision of arguments pro and contra, and ambiguity of the question posed.We find that respondents are characterized by a significant consensus effect.Respondents estimates of others opinions are strongly related to their own opinion.The size of the effect, however, is not affected by ambiguity of the question posed. Information by means of the provision of arguments pro and contra the tax provision does reduce the consensus effect significantly, though.Monetary incentives appear to have only a weak effect.We also find a strong effect of house ownership.Not only are house owners more in favor of the tax provision, they are also characterized by a significantly stronger consensus effect.These results suggest that both cognitive factors and motivational factors are responsible for the consensus effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2004-23.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200423

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: consensus effect; experiment; survey; taxation;

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References

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  1. Forsythe, Robert & Forrest Nelson & George R. Neumann & Jack Wright, 1992. "Anatomy of an Experimental Political Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1142-61, December.
  2. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
  3. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "The False Consensus Effect: Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Anomaly," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp233, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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