Thursday, January 18, 2007

Neuroeconomics and connotation explosions

Oh, wouldn't it be great to see a neuroeconomics study of "tax cut" versus "tax relief"? Get a bunch of subjects to discuss "a tax cut program"; another, similar bunch of subjects to dicuss "a tax relief" program, everything else remaining constant, and watching how those brains respond to each scenario?

I'm more than willing to put money that there's a large disparity in brain processing between these cases. I'd also bet that, as the topic becomes rather dull people converse more and more about either a "tax cut" or a "tax relief", this disparity will diminish.

My final bet is that a pool of economics Ph.D.s should exhibit much less disparity between the framing of "cut" and "relief" than subjects with a Ph.D. in Greek Mythology.

Any takers?