Do consequences matter? Survey v. experimental results in a tax setting

David Hulse, Teresa Stephenson, Cynthia Vines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines whether the presence of consequences from participants' selfreported tax policy preferences affect such preferences. Prior research examining tax policy preference has been largely survey-based and reported mixed results. In a non-tax setting, prior research has found that survey responses about what participants would do in a situation do not necessarily reflect what they actually will do when consequences are attached to their choices. We examine this issue by soliciting participants' preferences for tax progressivity under both a no-consequences (survey) and a consequences (experimental) setting. Our results indicate that participants' self-reported tax progressivity preferences more strongly reflect self-interest when there are consequences. This suggests that researchers using surveys to study tax policy preferences should follow up with experimental studies that attach consequences to participants' responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Law


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