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

Rupert Sausgruber and Jean-Robert Tyran ()

Vienna Economics Papers from University of Vienna, Department of Economics

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.

JEL-codes: C92 H22 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp, nep-pbe, nep-pol and nep-pub
Date: 2010-10
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Journal Article: Are we taxing ourselves?: How deliberation and experience shape voting on taxes (2011) Downloads
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