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This paper provides empirical evidence that individuals substantially revise their stated wealth redistribution preferences after fiscal scandals. The 2016 Panama Papers scandal revealed top-income tax evasion behaviour simultaneously worldwide. The empirical investigation exploits this event as a quasi-natural experiment. I rely on two original datasets, a UK household longitudinal dataset and a survey conducted in 22 European countries. I use a difference-in-differences strategy and find that pro-redistribution statements increased between 2% and 3.3% after the scandal. Responses are heterogeneous and larger for right-wing individuals and low-income individuals. This change in wealth redistribution preferences is likely to have been translated into a slight change in votes. The results suggest an increase in stated voting intentions for the left and a decrease for the right. Complementary estimations reveal that more media coverage and more individuals involved by country increase the magnitude of the response.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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