Transparency Diminishes Framing-Effects in Voting on Redistribution: Some Experimental Evidence
29 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017
Date Written: May 9, 2017
This study analyzes whether enabling people to get informed about redistributive consequences is an effective measure to prevent equivalence framing in the domain of voting on redistribution. Utilizing a simplified version of the Meltzer-Richard model, an equivalent frame is induced by letting subjects vote either on a proportional tax rate or an outcome equivalent minimum net income. In a series of laboratory experiments we find that framing effects both on the individually preferred and collectively agreed level of redistribution are tremendously strong if the information tool is not available (low transparency condition). Once subjects have access to the information tool (high transparency condition), the framing effect on individually preferred tax rates is significantly reduced, and after group communication, the framing effect is washed out from the collective decision. Thus, the availability of the information tool has an asymmetric effect on the level of redistribution if subjects have to set a redistributive tax rate and lowers redistribution if subjects have to set a minimum income level.
Keywords: redistribution, voting, framing, transparency, minimal income
JEL Classification: C91, C92, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation