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Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

People mostly pay their taxes although there is a low probability of getting caught and being penalized. Thus, new attempts in the tax compliance literature try to go beyond standard economic theory. This paper examines citizens? attitudes toward paying taxes ? what is sometimes termed their ?tax morale?, or the intrinsic motivation to pay taxes. Tax morale may be a key determinant to explain why people are honest. However, there are very few papers that explore the concept of tax morale theoretically and empirically. This study, based on the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey, therefore attempts to fill this gap in the literature, focusing on tax morale in Austria. Societal institutions such as trust or pride have been identified as key determinants that shape tax morale in Austria. Furthermore, a lower perceived compliance leads to a decrease of tax morale, which indicates that social comparisons are relevant. The results also show a decrease of tax morale between 1990 and 1999, although Austria?s taxpayers still have a very high tax morale compared to other European countries.

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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 2004-27.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2004-27

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Keywords: Tax Morale; Societal Institutions; Austria;

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References

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  1. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What Do We Know?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1167, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Naci Mocan, 2008. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence From Microdata," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 493-510, October.
  4. Benno Torgler & Neven T. Valev, 2004. "Corruption and Age," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  5. Benno Torgler, 2005. "Tax morale in Latin America," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 133-157, January.
  6. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2002. "Tax Morale, Leviathan and the Political Process: A Theoretical Approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 163, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  8. Frey, Bruno S. & Meier, Stephan, 2004. "Pro-social behavior in a natural setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-88, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-245, March.
  2. Vesa Kanniainen & Jenni Pääkkönen, 2010. "Do the catholic and protestant countries differ by their tax morale?," Empirica, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 271-290, July.
  3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2007. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," Working Papers 03-2007, Institute of Local Public Finance.
  4. Schneider, Friedrich G. & Buehn, Andreas, 2007. "Shadow economies and corruption all over the world: revised estimates for 120 countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1(9 (Versio), pages 1-53.
  5. Friedrich Schneider, 2006. "Shadow Economies and Corruption all over the World: What do we really Know?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1806, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Sørensen, Jens Fyhn Lykke, 2011. "Undeclared work: A dark side of social trust?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 888-894.
  7. Schneider, Friedrich, 2008. "The Shadow Economy in Germany - A Blessing or a Curse for the Official Economy?," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(1), pages 89-111, March.
  8. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
  9. Mohd Amran Mahat & Lai Ming Ling, 2011. "Featuring Tax Education in Non-accounting Curriculum: Survey Evidence," EconStor Conference Papers 56066, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  10. Jaanika Meriküll & Tairi Rõõm & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "Perceptions of unreported economic activities in Baltic Firms. Individualistic and non-individualistic motives," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2012-8, Bank of Estonia, revised 04 Feb 2013.
  11. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, 05.
  12. Niklas Harring & Sverker C. Jagers, 2013. "Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 210-227, January.

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