Information Provision and Support for Inheritance Taxation: Evidence From A Representative Survey Experiment in Germany

About this Session


Fri. 08.04. 15:15



Speaker: Mark Kapteina, Co-Author: Luna Bellani, Kattalina Berriochoa Abstract: Does lack of knowledge about tax allowances explain public opposition to inheritance taxation? To study this question, we conduct representative survey experiments with information treatments in Germany. We find that inheritance taxation is widely unpopular among Germans, but about 80 percent also underestimate the size of the inheritance tax allowance. Providing information on the actual tax allowance substantially increases support for inheritance taxation. The effect is large enough to shift a relative majority for abolishing inheritance taxation towards a relative majority for keeping it. Further evidence reveals that the effect mainly comes about through changing peoples’ expectation of ever being personally affected by inheritance taxes. In contrast, we also show that providing information on growing shares of inherited wealth only has a limited impact on policy preferences for inheritance taxation.