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Rationality Versus Emotions: The Case of Tax Ethics and Compliance

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  • Boris Maciejovsky

    ()

  • Herbert Schwarzenberger

    ()

  • Erich Kirchler

    ()

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    Abstract

    Businesses that rely heavily on cash transactions have been found to be particularly susceptible to low tax ethics. Recent research indicates that cash is a highly powerful and tempting reward, which elicits a strong emotional response. In this article, we investigate how emotions affect tax ethics in a series of experimental studies. Specifically, we show that affective priming and the ease with which tax information is retrieved moderate tax ethics. We also show that the relative effectiveness of deterrence, such as audit probabilities and tax fines, is moderated by affect. These results point toward a complex picture of tax ethics, requiring a multifaceted policy approach that emphasizes not only enforcement, but also cognitive and affective aspects of human behavior. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 339-350

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:3:p:339-350

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Affect; Cognition; Emotions; Tax compliance; Tax ethics; Tax evasion; Rationality;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Sandro Casal & Luigi Mittone, 2014. "Social Esteem versus Social Stigma: the role of anonymity in an income reporting game," CEEL Working Papers 1401, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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