Perceptions and outcomes of a fiscal bonus: Framing effects on evaluations and usage intentions
Is presenting a fiscal bonus as an income increase (a gain) the same as presenting it as a tax rebate (a loss reduction)? This paper aims to answer this question with two studies. Study 1 is a survey carried out in Italy to explore citizens' perceptions of a fiscal reform introduced in 2005. It shows both effects imputable to the methods used to describe the bonus and differences between respondents belonging to different occupational groups. But it does not allow disentangling these factors. Study 2 aims to investigate whether and how (1) the frame used to describe a fiscal bonus and (2) taxpayers' occupational status, influence their evaluation of this tax reduction and the uses they intend to make of it. To this end, 252 participants belonging to different occupational groups were submitted to two between-subject framing conditions (the bonus being described as a reduced loss or as a gain). They were then asked to evaluate the bonus' importance for their personal wealth and to state how they intended to use it. Results demonstrate that the frame, rather than the occupational status of the respondent, influences taxpayers' responses to the bonus. Respondents attached a higher importance to the bonus and were keener to save it when it was described as a loss reduction, compared to it being presented as a gain. These results are interpreted with reference to Prospect Theory, producing new insights into the processes through which framing can affect fiscal policy evaluations. The study is also relevant from a pragmatic perspective, as it shows that the way fiscal policy is communicated can be decisive for the achievement of economic and political goals.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Epley, Nicholas & Gneezy, Ayelet, 2007. "The framing of financial windfalls and implications for public policy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 36-47, February.
- Chang, Otto H. & Nichols, Donald R. & Schultz, Joseph J., 1987. "Taxpayer attitudes toward tax audit risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 299-309, September.
- Robben, Henry S. J. & Webley, Paul & Weigel, Russell H. & Warneryd, Karl-Erik & Kinsey, Karyl A. & Hessing, Dick J. & Martin, Francisco Alvira & Elffers, Henk & Wahlund, Richard & Van Langenhove, Luk, 1990. "Decision frame and opportunity as determinants of tax cheating : An international experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 341-364, September.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Ashby, Julie S. & Webley, Paul & Haslam, Alexander S., 2009. "The role of occupational taxpaying cultures in taxpaying behaviour and attitudes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 216-227, April.
- Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2001.
"Consumer Response to Tax Rebates,"
NBER Working Papers
8672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris, 2001. "Tax compliance within the context of gain and loss situations, expected and current asset position, and profession," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 173-194, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:400-404. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.