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Indiana University Bloomington

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Journal Articles

The Effects of Attribute Framing and Political Party Affiliation on Taxpayer Preferences

2003, eJournal of Tax Research

Peggy A. Hite


Understanding how tax reforms, tax agency initiatives, and taxpayer characteristics influence attitudes such as perceptions of tax fairness is an important issue for tax researchers, administrators, and policy makers. Public support for the tax system has serious implications for taxpayer compliance as well as for political support on tax-related proposals. This study examines whether attitudes toward the federal income tax system and the 2001 tax rebate vary by political party affiliation and by attribute frames. Using data from a randomized telephone survey we find that perceptions differ significantly by political party affiliation. In addition, our study extends prior research by showing that simply manipulating the perspective or frames of an attribute can significantly affect normative evaluations of tax law preferences. Specifically, we test attribute framing in a tax context and find that negative frames elicit significantly different preferences about the tax system compared to positive frames with essentially equivalent information.


Hite, Peggy A. (2003), "The Effects of Attribute Framing and Political Party Affiliation on Taxpayer Preferences,” eJournal of Tax Research, September, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 2-18.