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Are We Taxing Ourselves? How Deliberation and Experience Shape Voting on Taxes

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Abstract

We let consumers vote on tax regimes in experimental markets. We test if taxes on sellers are more popular than taxes on consumers, i.e. on voters themselves, even if taxes on sellers are inefficiently high. Taxes on sellers are more popular if voters underestimate the extent of tax shifting in the market. We show that inexperienced voters are prone to such a tax-shifting bias, that experience is an effective de-biasing mechanism, but that pre-vote deliberation about tax regimes makes initially held opinions more extreme rather than correct. Our results suggest that voting on taxes is prone to bias and that easy-to-interpret facts are needed to de-bias voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2010. "Are We Taxing Ourselves? How Deliberation and Experience Shape Voting on Taxes," Vienna Economics Papers 1010, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:1010
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessia Isopi & Daniele Nosenzo & Chris Starmer, 2014. "Does consultation improve decision-making?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 377-388, October.
    2. Morone, Andrea & Nemore, Francesco & Nuzzo, Simone, 2016. "Experimental Evidence on Tax Salience and Tax Incidence," MPRA Paper 74319, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Rebecca B. Morton & Marco Piovesan & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2012. "The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-017, Harvard Business School.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto, 2013. "Redistribution and market efficiency: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 39-52.
    8. 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.
    9. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    10. 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.
    11. Tiezzi, Silvia & Xiao, Erte, 2016. "Time delay, complexity and support for taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 117-141.
    12. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó & Erik Eyster, 2016. "The Demand for Bad Policy when Voters Underappreciate Equilibrium Effects," NBER Working Papers 22916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    14. Markussen, Thomas & Putterman, Louis & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2016. "Judicial error and cooperation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 372-388.
    15. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:604:p:2187-2215 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Sausgruber, Rupert & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2014. "Discriminatory taxes are unpopular—Even when they are efficient and distributionally fair," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 463-476.
    17. Tiezzi, Silvia & Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Time Delay and Support for Taxation," MPRA Paper 51233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Jiménez-Jiménez, Francisca & Rodero-Cosano, Javier, 2015. "The effect of priming in a Bertrand competition game: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 94-100.
    19. 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.
    20. Hirofumi Kurokawa & Tomoharu Mori & Fumio Ohtake, 2016. "A Choice Experiment on Taxes: Are Income and Consumption Taxes Equivalent?," ISER Discussion Paper 0966, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    21. Warziniack, Travis W. & Finnoff, David & Shogren, Jason F., 2013. "Public economics of hitchhiking species and tourism-based risk to ecosystem services," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 277-294.
    22. Matthias Weber & Arthur Schram, 2017. "The Non‐equivalence of Labour Market Taxes: A Real‐effort Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2187-2215, September.
    23. Fochmann, Martin & Hemmerich, Kristina & Kiesewetter, Dirk, 2015. "Intrinsic and extrinsic effects on behavioral tax biases in risky investment decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 196, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    24. 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

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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