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Is Tax Compliance a Social Norm? A Field Experiment

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  • Pietro Battiston
  • Simona Gamba

Abstract

We study the eff ect of social pressure on tax compliance, focusing on the compliance of shop sellers to the legal obligation of releasing tax receipts for each sale. We carry out a fi eld experiment on bakeries in Italy, where a strong gap exists between the legal obligation and the actual behavior of sellers. Social pressure is manipulated by means of an explicit request for a receipt when not released. We find that a single request for a receipt causes a 17 per cent rise in the probability of a receipt being released for a sale occurring shortly thereafter. This provides evidence of a social scal multiplier: on average, a single request for a receipt causes 2.38 additional receipts being released overall.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper249.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 249.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:249

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Keywords: Tax evasion; field experiments; social norms; social pressure;

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