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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

    In a controlled field experiment in Switzerland this paper analyses the effects of moral suasion on the timely paying and filling out of the tax form 2001, and the honesty regarding the declaration of domestic income from capital gains, lottery winnings, and certain insurance benefits. Comparisons of different tax filling years and multiple regression estimations have been done using these three factors as dependent variables to check if there is a significant difference between the control group and the treatment group, controlling for additional factors that might influence compliance behaviour. 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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2004-01.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2004-01

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    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," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. 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).
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Joel Slemrod, 2009. "Old George Orwell Got it Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 2777, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    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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