Ambiguity about Audit Probability, Tax Compliance, and Taxpayer Welfare
AbstractWe show that an increase in uncertainty about the probability of being audited (ambiguity) increases tax compliance for ambiguity-averse taxpayers but reduces compliance for ambiguity lovers. Because experimental evidence reveals considerable heterogeneity with respect to ambiguity preferences, we conclude that fostering uncertainty about the probability of being audited may not be an effective policy for increasing taxpayer compliance. Moreover, because the tax authority can neither categorize nor screen taxpayers on the basis of their preferences for ambiguity, it is not likely to be either a useful or a desirable instrument for increasing taxpayer welfare. (JEL H26, D81) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.
Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
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- James Alm, 2012.
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- James Alm, 2012. "Measuring, Explaining, and Controlling Tax Evasion: Lessons from Theory, Experiments, and Field Studies," Working Papers 1213, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- Arthur Snow, 2011. "Ambiguity aversion and the propensities for self-insurance and self-protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 27-43, February.
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- Martin G. Kocher & Stefan T. Trautmann, 2013. "Selection Into Auctions For Risky And Ambiguous Prospects," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 882-895, 01.
- Matthias Lang & Achim Wambach, 2010. "The fog of fraud – mitigating fraud by strategic ambiguity," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
- Amadeo Piolatto & Matthew Rablen, 2013. "Prospect theory and tax evasion: a reconsideration of the Yitzhaki Puzzle," IFS Working Papers W13/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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