Inheritance and in particular inheritance taxes have emerged as topics of steadily increasing interest in public as well as scientific discourse and debate. The present study investigates laypeople’s differentiated social representations of inheritance with the aim of shedding light on distinct concepts of wealth, inherit, and bequeath. Furthermore, it comparatively discusses experts’ scientific discourse on inheritance and laypeople’s social representations of inheritance, with the aim to contribute to a clearer understanding of the roots of the conflictual dispute on inheritance tax. Overall, 75 Austrian taxpayers completed a free association task. Participants were asked to indicate their spontaneous associations with the stimuli wealth, inherit, and bequeath, and to evaluate their associations as positive, neutral, or negative. Polarity and neutrality indices were calculated to capture participants’ attitudes towards the stimuli. Lexicographical analyses as well as correspondence analyses were performed to map the social representations of the stimuli. The results show that the evaluations of the stimuli differ significantly. Furthermore, the semantic content of the social representations differs. Moreover, the comparative discussion of experts’ representations of inheritance, as revealed in the analyses of their scientific discourse, and laypeople’s social representations of inheritance shows that the core issues of the social representations of laypeople and the representations of experts differ not only in respect to their level of abstractness but also in their point of reference and in their content. Interestingly, taxation is a core issue for laypeople as well as experts. Hence, this study indicates that a differentiated use of the term inheritance is necessary in regard to reforms of legal regulations of inheritance and inheritance taxes as well as in research referring to inheritance.
Shedding Light on the Shadow of the Economy: Research Methods in Studies on Tax Behavior
, Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 10.1561/105.00000047
This is the introduction to the special issue from the issue editors.
Research Methods in Taxation History
, Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 10.1561/105.00000041
This article by Jane Frecknall-Hughes also appears in this special issue.
Simulations in Tax Compliance Research: What Are They Good For?
, Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 10.1561/105.00000042
This article by Aloys Prinz also appears in this special issue.
Rational Expectations Voting in Agent-Based Models: An Application to Tax Ceilings
, Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 10.1561/105.00000043
This article by by Andreas D. Pape et al. also appears in this special issue.
Can Tax Compliance Research Profit from Biology?
, Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 10.1561/105.00000045
This article by Benno Torgler also appears in this special issue.
Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1 ICT-based Strategies for Environmental Conflicts: Articles Overiew
See the other articles that are part of this special issue.