Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2405294
 


 



Wanting What Is Fair: How Party Cues and Information About Income Inequality Affect Public Support for Taxes


Cheryl Boudreau


University of California, Davis

Scott A. MacKenzie


University of California, Davis

February 28, 2014


Abstract:     
Income inequality has risen dramatically in the United States, with potentially negative social, economic, and political consequences. Governments can use redistributive tax policies to combat inequality, but doing so requires public support. When will voters support redistributive tax policies? We address this question by conducting survey experiments where citizens express opinions about tax policies in a real-world context. We manipulate whether they receive party cues, information about rising income inequality, both, or neither type of information. We find that when citizens are given information about income inequality, they connect it to their views on redistributive tax policies. We also find that inequality information can induce Republicans to support a tax increase that their party opposes. These results challenge the prominent view of citizens as too ignorant to connect information about inequality to specific taxes. They also suggest that efforts to inform the electorate about inequality can influence tax policy opinions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: income inequality, party cues, experiment, redistribution, public opinion, tax policy

JEL Classification: C90, C99, D72, D79, D81, D83

working papers series





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Date posted: March 7, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Boudreau, Cheryl and MacKenzie, Scott A., Wanting What Is Fair: How Party Cues and Information About Income Inequality Affect Public Support for Taxes (February 28, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2405294 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2405294

Contact Information

Cheryl Boudreau (Contact Author)
University of California, Davis ( email )
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
Scott A. MacKenzie
University of California, Davis ( email )
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
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