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Decision heuristics and tax perception – An analysis of a tax-cut-cum-base-broadening policy

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Listed:
  • Blaufus, Kay
  • Bob, Jonathan
  • Hundsdoerfer, Jochen
  • Kiesewetter, Dirk
  • Weimann, Joachim

Abstract

In this paper, both a conjoint analysis and a lab experiment are conducted to analyze the influence of changes in the tax rate and the tax base on the perceived tax burden. Our results show that the majority of individuals do not make rational tax decisions based on the actual tax burden but rather use simple decision heuristics. This leads to an irrationally high impact of changes in nominal tax rates on the perceived tax burden. Taxpayers favor tax options that apply a lower tax rate on their gross income over a higher tax rate applied on their net income despite the lower actual tax burden of the latter option. This result suggests that politicians could combine increasing fiscal revenues and decreasing subjects’ tax perception. Furthermore, overestimation of tax rate changes increases considerably when information on tax rate is considered first (framing effect).

Suggested Citation

  • Blaufus, Kay & Bob, Jonathan & Hundsdoerfer, Jochen & Kiesewetter, Dirk & Weimann, Joachim, 2013. "Decision heuristics and tax perception – An analysis of a tax-cut-cum-base-broadening policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.12.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Blaufus, Kay & Milde, Michael, 2018. "Learning to save tax-efficiently: Tax misperceptions and the effect of informational tax nudges on retirement savings," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 225, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    3. Ackermann, Hagen, 2015. "How does the type of subsidization affect investments: Experimental evidence," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 185, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    4. Petutschnig, Matthias & Rünger, Silke, 2017. "The effects of a tax allowance for growth and investment: Empirical evidence from a firm-level analysis," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 221, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral public finance; Decision heuristics; Framing effects; Perceived tax burden; Tax-cut-cum-base-broadening;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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