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Decision Science News

November 9, 2010

Republican's Tax Allergy

Professors Eric Johnson and Elke Weber's research on the impact of labels triggering cognitive and emotional processes underlying decision making was mentioned in Crain's Insider.

Two Columbia researchers have documented just how toxic the word "tax" is to Republican voters. In a study, Eric Johnson and Elke Weber, co-directors of Columbia Business School's Center of Decision Sciences, asked 898 Americans if they would pay a voluntary fee when buying gas, electricity, computers or airline tickets to fund carbon reduction. Whether the fee was described as a "carbon tax" or a "carbon offset" about 65 of Democrats said they would pay it. A similar percentage of Republicans also said they would pay for a carbon offset. But only 27 of Republicans would pay a carbon tax.