What do we know about the taxes we pay? And does knowing more change the way we think about redistribution?
1The study documents a sizeable bias in what citizens believe about their tax payments and the level of government that receives the revenues.
2In general, people are in favor of redistributive policies. Respondents regard inequality as problematic, believe the poor should pay less tax, and would choose a progressive tax system over any alternative.
3Providing the true information about the tax system during the survey increases the support for redistributive policies. This is shown by evaluating the effect relative to a control group which did not receive additional information.
4People who learned about their true tax burden during the experiment are in favor of an even more progressive tax system. The experiment shows that they would tax the rich with a tax rate 3 points higher compared to the control group. Respondents who received the information about the autonomy of the autonomous communities to change tax rates were more likely to regard inequalities as a serious problem.