December 26, 2013
THE END OF LABOR WON'T STOP FOLKS FROM WORKING:
Dan Ariely's New Evidence That People Don't Care Much About Taxes (Paul Solman, 12/26/13, PBS)
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2013 5:18 PMPaul Solman spoke with Duke psychologist Dan Ariely about what he thinks is his most surprising research of the year. [...]Paul Solman: What surprised you the most in the last year?Dan Ariely: So the thing that surprised me the most in the last year was some experiments we were trying to do on taxes. Now, it's very hard to experiment for real on taxes, so we experimented in a small way. So we would bring people to the lab and we would give them some menial tasks. They would basically see words and they had to classify whether they were real words or not real words. And we paid them tiny amounts of money for each categorization they did.And then we changed the taxes. Some people paid no tax, some people had 25 percent tax, 50 percent tax.Paul Solman: On what you were giving them.Dan Ariely: On what we were giving them. And the reality was that we found no difference between their performance. No difference between how people performed on those three levels. And it still baffles me, you know, I didn't expect people to work half as much for the 50 percent taxes, but I expected them to work less. But we found overall, though, no difference.