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Tax the élites! The role of economic inequality and conspiracy beliefs on attitudes towards taxes and redistribution intentions British Journal of Social Psychology (IF6.92), Pub Date : 2022-06-27, DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12555 Bruno Gabriel Salvador Casara, Silvia Filippi, Caterina Suitner, Ervin Dollani, Anne Maass
Taxation is one of the most widely acknowledged strategies to reduce inequality, particularly if based on progressivity. In a high-powered sample study (N = 2119) we investigated economic inequality and conspiracy beliefs as two key predictors of tax attitude and support for progressive taxation. We found that participants in the high economic inequality condition had lower levels of tax compliance and higher levels of conspiracy beliefs and support for progressive taxation. Furthermore, the effect of the experimental condition on tax compliance was mediated by conspiracy beliefs. Finally, conspiracy belief scores were positively associated with support for progressive taxation. Our results provide evidence that attitudes towards taxation are not monolithic but change considering the aims and targets of specific taxes. Indeed, while the perception of economic inequality prompts the desire for equal redistribution, it also fosters conspiracy narratives that undermine compliance with taxes.