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Combining Psychology and Economics in the Analysis of Compliance: From Enforcement to Cooperation

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  • James Alm

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, 208 Tilton Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, U.S.A.)

  • Erich Kirchler

    ()
    (Universität Wien, Universitaetsstrasse 7, A-1010 Vienna, Austria)

  • Stephan Muehlbacher

    (Universität Wien, Universitaetsstrasse 7, A-1010 Vienna, Austria)

Abstract

In tax compliance research, there has been a significant shift in research paradigms, from an emphasis on enforcement to approaches that stress cooperation. In this paper, we trace this shift. We first describe the major “actors” in the tax compliance game and their complex interactions. Second, we examine various perspectives on the compliance decisions of individuals, starting with “economic” factors and then moving to factors based more on “psychology”, like social norms, fairness, and social interactions. Third, we present the “slippery slope” framework as a unifying framework. We conclude with recommendations based on this framework that have been shown to improve compliance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance in its journal Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP).

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 133-152

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Handle: RePEc:eap:articl:v:42:y:2012:i:2:p:133-152

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Keywords: Tax evasion; behavioral economics; tax morale; intrinsic motivation; slippery slope framework;

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References

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  1. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Do Ethics Matter? Tax Compliance and Morality," Working Papers 1207, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  7. Dekker, Henri C., 2004. "Control of inter-organizational relationships: evidence on appropriation concerns and coordination requirements," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 27-49, January.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
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  10. James Alm, 2012. "Measuring, Explaining, and Controlling Tax Evasion: Lessons from Theory, Experiments, and Field Studies," Working Papers 1213, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  11. Erich Kirchler & Boris Maciejovsky & Martin Weber, 2004. "Framing Effects, Selective Information and Market Behavior ­ An Experimental Analysis ­," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-16, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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  14. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  15. Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone, 2005. "Experiments in economics: External validity and the robustness of phenomena," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 495-515.
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  18. Braithwaite, John, 2005. "Markets in Vice, Markets in Virtue," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195222012, September.
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  22. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Pickhardt, Michael & Seibold, Goetz, 2011. "Income tax evasion dynamics: Evidence from an agent-based econophysics model," CAWM Discussion Papers 53, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
  2. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.

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