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Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics

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  • Joel Slemrod

Abstract

It is entirely appropriate that the study of public finance take seriously 'behavioral' inconsistencies with traditional models of individual and collective decision-making. This raises the question of whether the state should play a role in protecting individuals from themselves, and whether individuals are susceptible to manipulation, or even exploitation, by the people who comprise the state. In this essay I two aspects of this issue - tax complexity and tax compliance. In addressing these issues I ask, and offer some tentative answers to, what is distinctive about behavioral tax economics as a sub-field of behavioral economics and as a sub-field of tax economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 66 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 15-33

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201003)66:1_15:ogogib_2.0.tx_2-h

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Keywords: complexity; compliance;

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References

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  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Qari, Salmai, 2009. "The last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriotism and tax compliance," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-04, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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  3. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March Cit.
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  11. Krishna, Aradhna & Slemrod, Joel, 2003. "Behavioral Public Finance: Tax Design As Price Presentation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 189-203, March.
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  14. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Joel Slemrod & Marsha Blumenthal & Charles Christian, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: Evidence from a controlled experiment in minnesota," Natural Field Experiments 00332, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Luke Garrod, 2008. "Price Transparency and Consumer Naivety in a Competitive Market," Working Papers 07-10, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
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  23. Slemrod, Joel, 2006. "The Role of Misconceptions in Support for Regressive Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(1), pages 57-75, March Cit.
  24. Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Does It Matter Who Writes the Check to the Government? The Economics of Tax Remittance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 251-75, June Cita.
  25. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Testing the Mill hypothesis of fiscal illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 39-68, January.
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  29. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
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Cited by:
  1. Möhlmann, Axel, 2013. "Persistence or Convergence? The East-West Tax Morale Gap in Germany," MPRA Paper 50766, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Jul 2013.
  2. Arno Riedl, 2009. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Can Inform Public Policy: Some Thoughts," CESifo Working Paper Series 2902, CESifo Group Munich.

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