The relationship between political affiliation and attitudes toward taxes

Edoardo Lozza, Barbara Kastlunger, Erich Kirchler

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

Fiscal psychology has not often considered taxpayers’ political party preferences when studying attitudes toward taxes and tax behaviour. The few studies taking into account taxpayers political affiliation (e.g., Lewis, 1978; Wahlund, 1992; Hasseldine & Hite, 2003) have traditionally focused on its relation with evaluations of specific fiscal policies (i.e., tax reforms or tax rates), while less attention has been paid to the effect of political preferences on taxpayers general fiscal attitudes. The present study aims to explore the relationship between political party preferences and attitudes toward taxation within two theoretical frameworks: motivational postures (Braithwaite, 2003) and the slippery slope framework (Kirchler, Hoelzl & Wahl, 2007). Results derive from a survey, conducted in three Italian regions, with self-employed taxpayers (n=344). The questionnaire measured: respondents’ political affiliation; their motivational postures using Braithwaite’s (2003) scales; and their compliance intentions, using the tax compliance inventory TAX-I (Kirchler & Wahl, 2010). Results show significant differences between centre-left taxpayers and centre-right taxpayers: in particular, centre-left voters show higher levels of commitment and voluntary tax compliance. In contrast, taxpayers who support centre-right parties show higher levels in resistance and enforced tax compliance, along other differences. No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of intention to reduce taxes illegally (TAX-I: tax evasion scale): this may suggest two slightly different models of tax compliance (i.e., one for taxpayers supporting social democratic parties and one for those supporting liberal parties) that, via different paths, lead to the same result in terms of evasion intention. The implications of this study are discussed from both a theoretical and practical perspective. From the theoretical point of view, further research should focus on the directionality of the relationship between political preferences and fiscal attitudes; what is cause and what is the effect? From a pragmatic perspective these findings, although exploratory, suggest that tax authorities – within a responsive regulation approach (Ayres & Braithwaite, 1992; Braithwaite, 2007) – shall use different strategies to enhance tax compliance in order to respond to the beliefs and attitudes of taxpayers on the bases of their political preferences.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteIAREP (International Association for Research in Economic Psychology) & SABE (Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics) Conference, July 12-15 2011, Exeter, UK
Pagine303-304
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
EventoIAREP (International Association for Research in Economic Psychology) & SABE (Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics) Conference - Exeter
Durata: 12 lug 201115 lug 2011

Convegno

ConvegnoIAREP (International Association for Research in Economic Psychology) & SABE (Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics) Conference
CittàExeter
Periodo12/7/1115/7/11

Keywords

  • FISCAL PSYCHOLOGY

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