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Measuring Attitudes towards Public Spending using a Multivariate Tax Summary Experiment

Blumenau, J; Lauderdale, B; Barnes, L; (2021) Measuring Attitudes towards Public Spending using a Multivariate Tax Summary Experiment. American Journal of Political Science 10.1111/ajps.12643. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

It is difficult to measure public views on tradeoffs between spending priorities because public understanding of existing government spending is limited and the budgetary problem is complicated. We present a new measurement strategy using UK taxpayer summaries as the baseline for a continuous treatment, multivariate choice experiment. The experiment proposes deficit neutral bundles of changes in spending and taxation, allowing us to investigate attitudes towards modifications to the existing budget. We then use a structural choice model to estimate public preferences over 13 spending categories and the taxation level, on average and as a function of respondent attributes. We find that the UK public favours paying more in tax to finance large spending increases across major budget categories; that spending preferences are multidimensional; and that younger people prefer lower levels of taxation and spending than older people. Finally, we report a pre-registered out-of-sample validation of the estimates from the experiment.

Type: Article
Title: Measuring Attitudes towards Public Spending using a Multivariate Tax Summary Experiment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12643
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12643
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. American Journal of Political Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Midwest Political Science Association This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127817
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