Cameron Ballard-Rosa discussed how he is using data science to understand the political economy of finance, specifically focusing on the current need for governments to find new funding sources for their programs, garnering traditionally elusive conservative support for necessary tax increases. He began by discussing COVID-19’s influence on government financing and a continued, multi-decade decrease in corporate income taxes globally. Ballard explained the European Union proposed a minimal global corporate income tax which multiple countries, including the US, have agreed on in principle. Unfortunately, it has yet to pass through our Congress. The GOP has often been seen as a stumbling block for tax increases. Ballard-Rosa’s current theory is, if these increases are carefully presented, given a recent increase in conservative dissatisfaction with the influence and size of large corporations, the tax increases may find bipartisan support. Ballard-Rosa and his team observed members of three right-wing ideologies, traditionally represented in political science literature as populists, authoritarians, and nationalists. The theory they posited at the beginning of the observational period was that populists would take offense to corporations with benefits that weren’t available to everyone (such as tax loopholes), authoritarians would take offense to companies imposing “woke” social training, and nationalists would take offense to companies outsourcing jobs. From there, the team collected data through various surveys of those identifying with each ideological leaning, while manipulating how the companies were presented to see if the different presentations influenced how each group would want to tax a corporation. They found a strong correlation between populists wanting to tax corporations using unfair advantages and authoritarians wanting to tax those imposing “woke'' social training. However, the team found no evidence that nationalists would seek to penalize companies outsourcing jobs. From this and other work on the issue, Ballard-Rosa feels confident that there will soon be a way to identify previously underused techniques to gain support for new fiscal policies. Click here to view the talk on YouTube.
Cameron Ballard-Rosa, Associate Professor
Department: Political Science | Faculty Profile
Featured on: November 10, 2022 (Event Page)
Session Title: Navigating Politics and the Law (Event Recap)
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