ESRI Discussion Paper Series No.377 Media Influence on Public Attitudes toward Japan's Value-Added Tax

Masahiro Hori
Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office
Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University


This study investigates the impact of media on people's attitudes toward the Japanese value-added tax (VAT), also known as the "consumption tax." The study draws on microdata from the Twin Survey on the Japanese Economy and Policy Effects. The study reveals a significant difference in the perception of VAT between the general public and economists. While many economists view VAT positively, the general public tends to view it negatively. The study examines the role of economic information media in bridging this perception gap by disseminating economists' ideas to the public. By analyzing daily exposure to newspaper information, especially NIKKEI, the study statistically examines the relationship between media exposure and the public's understanding of VAT. Using propensity score matching techniques, the study compares the attitudes of newspaper readers and non-readers toward the Japanese VAT, controlling for basic background attributes. The results indicate that daily newspaper readers were significantly more likely than non-readers to have positive attitudes toward the VAT. The findings highlight the importance of media efforts in translating economists' proposals into actual policies.

Structure of the whole text(PDF-Format 1 File)

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    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Literature Review
    • 3 Data
    • 4 Attitudes toward VAT by Attribute Category
    • 5 Media influence on the general public view of Japan's VAT: A Propensity Score Analysis
    • 6 Conclusion