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Moral suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland

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  • Benno Torgler
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    Abstract

    With data gained from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland this paper analyses the effects of moral suasion on the timely paying and the timely filling out of the tax form 2001. Comparisons of different tax filing years and multiple regression estimations have been done using these two factors as dependent variables to check if there is a significant difference between the control group and the treatment group. In February 2002 the treatment group received a letter signed by the commune’s fiscal commissioner containing normative appeals. Results indicate that moral suasion has hardly any effect on taxpayers’ compliance behaviour. The strongest effect can be observed for the variable tax payments. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10101-004-0077-7
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (November)
    Pages: 235-253

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:5:y:2004:i:3:p:235-253

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    Related research

    Keywords: Tax compliance; morale suasion; field experiment;

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    1. Nudge Database IV
      by Mark Egan in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2013-04-14 16:17:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Evasion in Switzerland: The Roles of Deterrence and Tax Morale," IEW - Working Papers 284, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Coricelli, Giorgio & Joffily, Mateus & Montmarquette, Claude & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," IZA Discussion Papers 3103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Gloria Alarcón García & Edgardo Ayala Gaytán, 2013. "Trust in Spanish Governments: Antecedents and Consequences," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 43(2), pages 177-194, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Joel Slemrod, 2010. "Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(1), pages 15-33, March.
    6. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    7. Donna Bobek & Amy Hageman & Charles Kelliher, 2013. "Analyzing the Role of Social Norms in Tax Compliance Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 451-468, July.
    8. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Illegal, Immoral, Fattening or What?: How Deterrence and Responsive Regulation Shape Tax Morale," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200426, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Boris Maciejovsky & Herbert Schwarzenberger & Erich Kirchler, 2012. "Rationality Versus Emotions: The Case of Tax Ethics and Compliance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 339-350, September.
    10. Gangl, Katharina & Torgler, Benno & Kirchler, Erich & Hofmann, Eva, 2014. "Effects of supervision on tax compliance: Evidence from a field experiment in Austria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 378-382.

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