Gender and Tax
USC Law School, Olin Working Paper No. 99-11
25 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 1999
Date Written: August 1999
It is well known that there is a gender gap in American politics: that men and women in the aggregate vote differently for presidential candidates, for example. The precise determinants of the gap are less well known. Using existing data, mainly 1996 general election exit polls, this article explores the gender gap in relation to tax issues. It finds that while men and women have broadly similar attitudes or "primary preferences" about tax questions, the weighing of tax as an issue -- the "secondary preferences" -- differ, with men attaching more importance to tax as an issue than women. This result suggests, inter alia, that framing of political issues matter, and that a successful candidate may appeal differentially to each gender on the basis of different policy issues.
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