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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 address one aspect of this issue – how it affects an economic analysis of tax systems. In addressing this task 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

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2777.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2777

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Keywords: complexity; compliance;

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  9. 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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Cited by:
  1. Axel Möhlmann, 2014. "Persistence or Convergence? The East-West Tax-Morale Gap in Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(1), pages 3-30, March.
  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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