Stage 1 registered report for replication of Experiment 1 and 2 of “Axe the tax: Taxes are disliked more than equivalent costs” (Sussman & Olivola, 2011)

Jerome Olsen, Christoph Kogler, Mark John Brandt, Linda Dezső, Erich Kirchler

Research output: Other contribution


Sussman and Olivola (2011) reported that people in the US show a stronger
preference to avoid tax-related costs than to avoid tax-unrelated monetary costs of the same size and coined the term Tax Aversion to describe the phenomenon. The original Experiment 1 and 2 results indicated that people are willing to incur
increased timely costs to receive a discount when it refers to taxes (e.g., “axe-the-tax discount”) than when it just refers to a regular discount (e.g., “customer rewards”).Their paper has received considerable attention and is often cited in tax behavior research when referring to citizens’ general aversion to taxes. We propose close replications of Experiments 1 and 2 in two high-powered studies in the US (N = 600 and N = 700, respectively). Because the original study was conducted in a country that relies on a sales tax system, where consumption taxes are very salient, we additionally propose conducting both replication studies in the UK to test whether the effect also applies to a value added tax system (again N = 600 and N = 700, respectively). The replication studies will test whether Tax Aversion is a stable phenomenon in the US and whether the effect extends to a consumption tax system where payments do not represent an out-of-pocket cost.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018


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