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Tax affinity hypothesis: Do we really hate paying taxes?

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  • Djanali, Iwan
  • Sheehan-Connor, Damien

Abstract

This paper proposes and evaluates the tax affinity hypothesis claiming that individuals derive non-negligible utility from paying taxes due to their pro-social tendencies. We present a model in the neoclassical labor–leisure framework with tax paid as a third argument of the utility function. The Slutsky-like equations derived from this model suggest two testable hypotheses that differentiate it from the standard model. A controlled experiment provides support for the two testable propositions of the hypothesis: (1) subjects worked more in the presence of tax than in its absence at the same net wage rate, and (2) the impact of wage changes on labor supply depended not only on the after-tax wage rate, but also on the tax rate. The tax affinity hypothesis has important implications for tax policy and economic analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Djanali, Iwan & Sheehan-Connor, Damien, 2012. "Tax affinity hypothesis: Do we really hate paying taxes?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 758-775.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:758-775
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.02.004
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Matthews, Peter Hans & Tabb, Benjamin, 2016. "Progressive taxation in a tournament economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 64-72.
    3. Fochmann, Martin & Hemmerich, Kristina & Kiesewetter, Dirk, 2016. "Intrinsic and extrinsic effects on behavioral tax biases in risky investment decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 218-231.
    4. 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.
    5. Fochmann, Martin & Hemmerich, Kristina, 2014. "Real tax effects and tax perception effects in decisions on asset allocation," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 156, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    6. Fahr, René & Janssen, Elmar & Sureth, Caren, 2014. "Can tax rate increases foster investment under entry and exit flexibility? Insights from an economic experiment," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 166, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    7. Martin Fochmann & Johannes Hewig & Dirk Kiesewetter & Katharina Schüßler, 2017. "Affective reactions influence investment decisions: evidence from a laboratory experiment with taxation," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 87(6), pages 779-808, August.
    8. Hagen Ackermann & Martin Fochmann & Nadja Wolf, 2016. "The Effect of Straight-Line and Accelerated Depreciation Rules on Risky Investment Decisions—An Experimental Study," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-26, October.
    9. repec:bla:jecrev:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:394-408 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Martin Fochmann & Arne Kleinstück, 2012. "Steueraversion - Sind wir wirklich bereit auf Einkommen zu verzichten, nur um Steuern zu sparen?," FEMM Working Papers 120024, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    11. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; Experimental economics; Altruism; Pro-social behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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