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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. Hokamp, Sascha & Pickhardt, Michael, 2010. "Income tax evasion in a society of heterogeneous agents: Evidence from an agent-based model," CAWM Discussion Papers 35, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
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  8. Zsolt Darvas, 2007. "Estimation Bias and Inference in Overlapping Autoregressions: Implications for the Target Zone Literature," Working Papers 0701, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest.
  9. Gabor Kezdi & Gergely Csorba, 2011. "Estimating the Lock-in Effects of Switching Costs from Firm-Level Data," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1108, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  10. Garay, Barnabás M. & Simonovits, András & Tóth, János, 2012. "Local interaction in tax evasion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 412-415.
  11. Zsolt Darvas, 2010. "Beyond the Crisis: Prospects for Emerging Europe," Working Papers 1005, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest, revised 09 Mar 2011.
  12. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Zsolt Darvas, 2008. "Leveraged carry trade portfolios," Working Papers 0802, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest, revised 18 Jun 2008.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andras Simonovits, 2012. "Does higher tax morale imply higher optimal labor income tax rate?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1218, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  2. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
  3. Michael Pickhardt & Goetz Seibold, 2011. "Income Tax Evasion Dynamics: Evidence from an Agent-based Econophysics Model," Papers 1112.0233, arXiv.org.
  4. 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.
  5. Barnabas M. Garay & Andras Simonovits & Janos Toth, 2011. "Local Interaction in Tax Evasion," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1104, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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