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Tax Morale and Tax Evasion: Social Preferences and Bounded Rationality

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Author Info

  • Zsombor Z. Meder

    ()
    (Maastricht University Department of Economics)

  • Andras Simonovits

    ()
    (Institute of Economics Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Budapest University of Technology and Economics Institute of Mathematics and Central European University, Department of Economics)

  • Janos Vincze

    ()
    (Institute of Economics Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Corvinus University of Budapest)

Abstract

We study a family of models of tax evasion, where a flat-rate tax finances only the provision of public goods, neglecting audits and wage differences. We focus on the comparison of two modeling approaches. The first is based on optimizing agents, who are endowed with social preferences, their utility being the sum of private consumption and moral utility. The second approach involves agents acting according to simple heuristics. We find that while we encounter the traditionally shaped Laffer-curve in the optimizing model, the heuristics models exhibit (linearly) increasing Laffer-curves. This difference is related to a peculiar type of behavior emerging within the heuristics based approach: a number of agents lurk in a moral state of limbo, alternating between altruism and selfishness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 1203.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1203

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Keywords: tax evasion; tax morale; agent-based simulation;

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References

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  1. Jean Pisani-Ferry & Zsolt Darvas, 2010. "The threat of 'currency wars': a European perspective," Policy Contributions 461, Bruegel.
  2. Zsolt Darvas, 2009. "The Impact of the Crisis on Budget Policy in Central and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 0904, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest.
  3. Zsolt Darvas, 2008. "Estimation Bias and Inference in Overlapping Autoregressions: Implications for the Target-Zone Literature," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 1-22, 02.
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  7. Zsolt Darvas & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Andre Sapir, 2011. "A Comprehensive Approach to the Euro-Area Debt Crisis," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1110, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  8. Zsolt Darvas, 2010. "The Case for Reforming Euro Area Entry Criteria," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1022, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.
  11. Sascha Hokamp & Michael Pickhardt, . "Income Tax Evasion in a Society of Heterogeneous Agents – Evidence from an Agent-based Model," Working Papers 201035, Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary.
  12. Zsolt Darvas, 2011. "Exchange Rate Policy and Economic Growth after the Financial Crisis in Central and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 1103, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest.
  13. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  14. Garay, Barnabás M. & Simonovits, András & Tóth, János, 2012. "Local interaction in tax evasion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 412-415.
  15. 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.
  16. Darvas, Zsolt, 2009. "Leveraged carry trade portfolios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 944-957, May.
  17. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
  18. Traxler, Christian, 2006. "Social Norms and Conditional Cooperative Taxpayers," Discussion Papers in Economics 1202, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  19. Andras Simonovits, 2010. "Tax Morality and Progressive Wage Tax," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1005, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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Cited by:
  1. Hokamp, Sascha, 2014. "Dynamics of tax evasion with back auditing, social norm updating, and public goods provision – An agent-based simulation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 187-199.
  2. Andras Simonovits, 2013. "Does Higher Tax Morale Imply Higher Optimal Labor Income Tax Rate?," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 2, pages 97-114, June.
  3. Pickhardt, Michael & Seibold, Goetz, 2011. "Income tax evasion dynamics: Evidence from an agent-based econophysics model," CAWM Discussion Papers 53, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
  4. Garay, Barnabás M. & Simonovits, András & Tóth, János, 2012. "Local interaction in tax evasion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 412-415.
  5. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.

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