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Level or Concentration? A Cross-national Analysis of Public Attitudes Towards Taxation Policies

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  • Takanori Sumino

    (University of Oxford)

Abstract

This article examines the role of income status and policy context in jointly determining public responses to taxation policies. Based upon the notion that taxpayers’ self-interested preferences are inextricably intertwined with the policy context, I hypothesise that high-income taxpayers react differently to taxation policies depending on their perceived tax burden associated with tax policy structures. Using international social survey data, I find that the link between income and tax support is conditioned by the tax system within which taxpayers are contextually situated. In countries with comparatively high levels of direct taxes, high-income taxpayers react more negatively to higher and more progressive taxation than do low-income counterparts. In contrast, in low-tax societies, attitudinal cleavages among income classes become less intense. Moreover, the results reveal that the impact of income on tax attitudes does not significantly vary across countries with different degrees of tax concentration. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings and directions for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Takanori Sumino, 2016. "Level or Concentration? A Cross-national Analysis of Public Attitudes Towards Taxation Policies," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1115-1134, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:129:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1169-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-015-1169-1
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