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Published on Feb 05, 2016

Abstract

The objective:

The objective of our experiment was to see if the perception and/or experience of economic mobility affected whether research subjects would want the highest income earners to get a tax increase as one of the solutions to pay off national debt.

Methods/Materials

We conducted a simulation with two rooms. In Room 1, a scenario was designed to create a perception of very low economic mobility, and no experience of economic mobility (Group 1.)

In Room 2, a scenario was designed to create a perception of high economic mobility, and for half of the subjects, also experience of economic mobility (Groups 2 and 3.)

All subjects went through four rounds, each representing one pretend economic year, in which they could receive a raise.

In order to create the different groups, we rigged how many subjects in each room got raises during each round.

At the end of the four rounds, all subjects were asked about their perception of economic mobility and whether they agreed with giving the highest income earners a tax increase as part of a solution to pay off national debt.

Results


62% of the subjects in Group 1 were in favor of the tax increase. 78% of the subjects in Group 2 were in favor of the tax increase.

80% of the subjects in 3 were in favor of the tax increase. Although these results could be due to chance, the trend was the opposite of what we hypothesized.

Conclusions

More of the subjects who had perception and experience of economic mobility were in favor of the highest income earners receiving a tax increase than the subjects who did not have perception or personal experience of economic mobility.

Our results could have occurred the way they did because the subjects in groups 2 and 3 thought that if they earned more money, they should be taxed more.

We conducted a rigged simulation to see whether the perception and/or experience of economic mobility affected subjects' willingness to give the highest income earners a tax increase.

Science Fair Project done By Ariele Ladabaum