82.2 Social justice in the European union context: Opinions on the tax-revenue allocation among national elites

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:05 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Kazimierz M. SLOMCZYNSKI , Cross-National Studies: Research and Training Program
Wlodzimierz WESOLOWSKI , Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
In the 2007 and 2009 IntUne project, members of political and economic elites in 17 EU countries expressed their preferences with regard to the relative amount of individual taxes allocated on regional, national, and European levels. On the basis of these data the index reflecting just distribution was validated and used in cross-national analysis in order to test specific hypotheses about macro and micro determinants of tax preferences. The main macro variable pertains to democratization that divides EU into the old EU countries and the new EU countries. The results show that elites in less democratic countries of Central and Eastern Europe propose, on the average, lower taxes on European level than elites in the old EU countries. Moreover, among members of elites in the former type of countries opinions regarding the EU level of taxation are less differentiated than opinions on the same matter among members of elites in latter countries, even if other variables are controlled. On micro level, those who express stronger EU attachment tend to allocate for EU higher proportion of tax revenue than those who express weaker  EU attachment. The pattern of the relationships changed between 2007 and 2009, mainly in response to the begining of economic slowdown. The implications of these findings for social-psychology theories of social justice are discussed.