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Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game

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Abstract

Conventional models of tax compliance emphasize that taxpayers make strategic tax reports, underreporting income to the extent that this behavior is functionally rewarded. In contrast to this view, considerable empirical evidence suggests that many taxpayers are inherently honest, reporting truthfully regardless of the incentive to cheat. In this article we build a game-theoretic model of tax compliance that includes both honest and potentially dishonest taxpayers. We show that including honest taxpayers significantly alters the model, leading to much improved empirical predictions and somewhat different and novel policy implications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 93-06.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision: 1994
Publication status: Published: Revised version in RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 1994), pp. 1–19
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:93-06

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Keywords: tax evasion ; economic models;

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