Don't Tax Me? Determinants of Individual Attitudes Toward Progressive Taxation

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Abstract

This contribution empirically analyzes the individual determinants of tax rate preferences. For that purpose, we use representative survey data from the German General Social Survey, which offers information on attitudes toward progressive, proportional and regressive taxation. On the basis of theoretical considerations, we explore the factors which, beyond an individual's financial interest, should drive preferences for progressive taxation. Our empirical results confirm that the narrow redistributive self-interest does not offer the sole explanation of the heterogeneity in individual attitudes. Rather, we show that the choice of the favored tax rate is also driven by fairness considerations and beliefs on the role of effort for economic success.

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