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Optimal tax enforcement under prospect theory

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  • Amedeo Piolatto

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Gwenola Trotin

    ()
    (EQUIPPE, Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3 & GREQAM-IDEP, Université de la Mediterranée)

Abstract

Prospect Theory (PT) has become the most credited alternative to Expected Utility Theory (EUT) as a theory of decision under uncertainty. This paper characterises the optimal income tax and audit schemes under tax evasion, when taxpayers behave as predicted by PT. We show that the standard EUT results keep holding under PT, under even weaker conditions. Under fair assumptions on the reference income and on the utility function of taxpayers, we show that the optimal audit probability function is non-increasing and the optimal tax function is nondecreasing and concave.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/29.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/11/doc2011-29

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Keywords: tax evasion; income tax enforcement; prospect theory;

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References

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  1. Dhami, Sanjit & Al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Optimal taxation in the presence of tax evasion: Expected utility versus prospect theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 313-337, August.
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. Yaniv, Gideon, 1999. "Tax Compliance and Advance Tax Payments: A Prospect Theory Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 753-64, December.
  4. HINDRIKS, Jean & KEEN, Michael & MUTHOO, Abhinay, . "Corruption, extortion and evasion," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1671, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Parkash Chander, 1998. "A Stronger Measure of Risk Aversion and a General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Economics Working Paper Archive 399, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2007. "Why do people pay taxes? Prospect theory versus expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 171-192, September.
  7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  8. Mirrlees, James A, 1997. "Information and Incentives: The Economics of Carrots and Sticks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1311-29, September.
  9. Kanbur, Ravi & Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2004. "Moral Hazard, Income Taxation, And Prospect Theory," Working Papers 127136, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  10. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
  11. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  12. Alain Trannoy & Gwenola Trotin, 2010. "Do High Tax and Tax Evasion go Hand in Hand? The Non-Linear Case," IDEP Working Papers 1004, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jul 2010.
  13. Parkash Chander, 2004. "Risk Aversion and Income Tax Enforcement," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 531, Econometric Society.
  14. Parkash Chander, 2007. "Income Tax Evasion and the Fear of Ruin," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 315-328, 05.
  15. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1996. "Tax evasion and the optimum general income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-249, May.
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