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Wanting What is Fair: How Party Cues and Information about Income Inequality Affect Public Support for Taxes

Wanting What is Fair: How Party Cues and Information about Income Inequality Affect Public Support for Taxes
1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N
Time: Mar 27th, 2:00 pm End: Mar 27th, 4:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Political Science, Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Ethics, Communications
Lecture by Cheryl Boudreau, UC-Davis

The Centre for the Study of the United States and the Munk School of Global Affairs are pleased to present:


Wanting What is Fair: How Party Cues and Information About Income Inequality Affect Public Support For Taxes

Income inequality has risen dramatically in the United States, and the federal government and states have tried to use tax policy to reduce it. What types of information affect public support for redistributive tax policies? We address this question by conducting survey experiments where citizens express opinions about tax policies under consideration in a real-world context. We manipulate whether they receive party cues, information about rising income inequality, both, or neither type of information. We find that when citizens are given information about rising income inequality, they connect it to their views on specific tax policies. We also find that inequality information can induce Republican citizens to support a tax increase that their party opposes. These results challenge the prominent view of citizens as too ignorant to connect information about inequality to specific taxes. They also suggest that efforts to inform the electorate about inequality can influence tax policy opinions.
Cheryl Boudreau
is Associate Professor in the Political Science department at the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2007. Boudreau's research examines whether and when different types of political information help uninformed voters to make political decisions that improve their welfare. This information may come from trusted endorsers, encouraging citizens to vote for a particular candidate or initiative, or from politicians competing in a debate. Citizens may also rely on the statements their peers make during discussions, the opinions of the masses (as reflected in public opinion polls), or the detailed policy information contained in voter guides. Using laboratory and survey experiments, as well as observational studies, Boudreau's research sheds light on when these different types of information help uninformed voters to behave as though they are more informed.
Registration is required for this event. To register, please go to: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/events/

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

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