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A contest with the taxman - the impact of tax rates on tax evasion and wastefully invested resources

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  • Bayer, Ralph-C.

Abstract

We develop a moral hazard model with auditing where both the principal and the agent can influence the probability that the true state of nature is verified. This setting is widely applicable for situations where fraudulent reporting with costly state verification takes place. However, we use the framework to investigate tax evasion. We model tax evasion as a concealment-detection contest between the taxpayer and the authority. We show that higher tax rates cause more evasion and increase the resources wasted in the contest. Additionally, we find conditions under which a government should enforce incentive compatible auditing in order to reduce wasted resources.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 50 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 1071-1104

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:50:y:2006:i:5:p:1071-1104

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  1. Vital Anderhub & Sebastian Giese & Werner Güth & Antje Hoffmann & Thomas Otto, 2001. "Tax Evasion with Earned Income - An Experimental Study," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(2), pages 188-, February.
  2. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1997. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 951-68, November.
  3. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
  4. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
  5. Graetz, Michael J & Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
  6. Border, Kim C & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 525-40, October.
  7. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1994. " Tax Evasion, Concealment and the Optimal Linear Income Tax," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 219-39.
  8. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1990. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Taxes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 410-31, Fall.
  9. Baron, David P & Myerson, Roger B, 1982. "Regulating a Monopolist with Unknown Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 911-30, July.
  10. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  11. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  12. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, December.
  13. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "The Hidden Costs of Tax Evasion - Collaborative Tax Evasion in Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2014-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Bayer, Ralph-C & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "The excess burden of tax evasion--An experimental detection-concealment contest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 527-543, July.
  3. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini & Pasquale De Angelis & Elisabetta Marzano, 2008. "Firm-oriented policies, tax cheating and perverse outcomes," Discussion Papers 10_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  4. Alain Trannoy & Gwenola Trotin, 2010. "Do High Tax and Tax Evasion go Hand in Hand? The Non-Linear Case," IDEP Working Papers 1004, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jul 2010.
  5. Maciejovsky, Boris & Kirchler, Erich & Schwarzenberger, Herbert, 2007. "Misperception of chance and loss repair: On the dynamics of tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 678-691, December.
  6. Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano & Francesco Busato & Pasquale De Angelis, 2007. "State Aid Policies and Underground Activities," Discussion Papers 4_2007, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  7. Ralph-C Bayer, 2003. "Income Tax Evasion with Morally Constraint Taxpayers: The Role of Evasion Opportunities and Evasion Cost," School of Economics Working Papers 2003-04, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  8. Yiqun Wang, 2012. "Competition and Tax Evasion: A Cross Country Study," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(2), pages 189-208, September.

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