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The Good, the Bad, and the Regulator: An Experimental Test of Two Conditional Audit Schemes

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  • Jeremy Clark
  • Lana Friesen
  • Andrew Muller

Abstract

Conditional audit rules are designed to achieve regulatory compliance with fewer inspections than required by random auditing. A regulator places individuals into audit pools that differ in probability of audit or severity of fine and specifies transition rules between pools. Future pool assignment is conditional on current audit results. We conduct an experiment to compare two specific schemes--Harrington's Past-Compliance Targeting and Friesen's Optimal Targeting--against random auditing. We find a production possibility frontier between compliance and minimizing inspections. Optimal targeting generates the lowest inspection rates as predicted, but random auditing the highest compliance. Past-compliance targeting is intermediate. (JEL C91, H26, K42, L51) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 69-87

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:1:p:69-87

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Cited by:
  1. Kogler, Christoph & Batrancea, Larissa & Nichita, Anca & Pantya, Jozsef & Belianin, Alexis & Kirchler, Erich, 2013. "Trust and power as determinants of tax compliance: Testing the assumptions of the slippery slope framework in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 169-180.
  2. Maarten Lindeboom & Bas van der Klaauw & Sandra Vriend, 2014. "Audit Rates and Compliance: A Field Experiment in Long-term Care," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-038/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Timothy N. Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2004. "An Experimental Study of Compliance and Leverage in Auditing and Regulatory Enforcement," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 918, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Lana Friesen, 2012. "Certainty of Punishment versus Severity of Punishment: An Experimental Investigation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 399-421, October.
  5. Fangfang Tan & Andrew Yim, 2011. "Can Strategic Uncertainty Help Deter Tax Evasion? – An Experiment on Auditing Rules," Working Papers can_strategic_uncertainty, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

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