Opinions on the Tax Deductibility of Mortgages and the Consensus EffectReport as inadecuate




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De Economist

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 141–159

First Online: 17 May 2007 Summary

We present the results of a survey-experiment – using a representative sample of the Dutch population – in which we relate respondents’ opinion about a restriction of the tax deductibility of mortgages to their estimates about other people’s opinions. We find a strong consensus effect; meaning that respondents’ estimates of others’ opinions are related to their own opinion. Furthermore, we find that the size of the effect is not affected by the ambiguity of the question posed. The provision of arguments pro and contra the tax provision and monetary incentives for accuracy reduce the consensus effect, but only so in conjunction. Finally, we find that house owners display a significantly stronger consensus effect. Our results suggest that both cognitive and motivational factors are responsible for the consensus effect. Aside from the consensus effect, our survey gives interesting insights into people’s opinion on tax deductibility of mortgages. A majority consider a general restriction to be unfair, but a proposal to restrict only mortgages as of a certain size meets with much more approval.

Keywordsconsensus effect experiment survey taxation We thank Marcel Das and Corrie Vis of CentERdata for their excellent support in conducting the survey-experiment and two referees of this journal and Dirk Engelmann for helpful comments. Financial support from the Faculty of Economics and Business administration is gratefully acknowledged.

JEL CodesC8 C9 D8 H2  Download to read the full article text



Author: Eline Van Der Heijden - Jan Nelissen - Jan Potters

Source: https://link.springer.com/



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