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Tax Evasion in Switzerland: The Roles of Deterrence and Tax Morale

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  • Lars P. Feld
  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

The traditional economic approach to tax evasion does not appear to be particularly successful in explaining the extent of tax compliance. We argue instead that a psychological tax contract which establishes a fiscal exchange between the state and the citizens shapes tax compliance to a large extent. In that respect, a case study of Switzerland is useful because the small size of the cantons and their direct democratic political systems procedurally establish a close exchange relationship between taxpayers and tax authorities. In this paper, evidence is discussed on how tax evasion and tax morale in Switzerland evolved over time. In addition, the impact of economic, legal, socio-demographic, psychological and institutional factors on Swiss tax evasion is discussed.

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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 2006-13.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2006-13

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Keywords: Tax Evasion; Tax Morale; Deterrence; Responsive Regulation;

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References

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  3. Eduardo Engel & James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 47, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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  5. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
  6. Alois Stutzer, . "Demokratieindizes für die Kantone der Schweiz," IEW - Working Papers 023, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Joel Slemrod & Marsha Blumenthal & Charles Christian, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: Evidence from a controlled experiment in minnesota," Natural Field Experiments 00332, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
  9. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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  22. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
  23. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
  24. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Compliance as the Result of a Psychological Tax Contract: The Role of Incentives and Responsive Regulation," IEW - Working Papers 287, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  25. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Globally Speaking, American Taxpayers are Pushovers
    by J.D. Tuccille in Hit & Run blog on 2012-04-17 16:33:00
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Cited by:
  1. Hug, Simon & Spörri, Franziska, 2011. "Referendums, trust, and tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 120-131, March.
  2. Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2008. "The Runaway Taxpayer or: Is Prior Tax Notice Effective against Scofflaws?," Working papers 1, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  3. Leder, Susanne & Mannetti, Lucia & Hölzl, Erik & Kirchler, Erich, 2010. "Regulatory fit effects on perceived fiscal exchange and tax compliance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 271-277, April.

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