Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Coming Closer? Tax Morale, Deterrence and Social Learning after German Unification

Contents:

Author Info

  • Lars P. Feld
  • Benno Torgler

    ()
    (QUT)

  • Bin Ding

Abstract

The paper explores whether a social learning model helps explain the observed conformity and compliance with social norms after the unification of Germany. We compare tax morale, (the willingness to pay taxes), between inhabitants of East and West Germany during the post-unification period, using three World Values Survey/European Values Survey waves between 1990 and 1999. German unification is of particular interest in analysing tax morale since it is close to a quasi-natural experiment. Factors such as a common language, similar education systems and a shared cultural and political history prior to the separation after the Second World War can be controlled because they are similar. Our findings indicate that the social learning model employed in this study helps to predict the development of tax morale over time. It is clear that tax morale values converged within a mere nine years after unification, due largely to a strong change in the level of tax morale in the East. Thus, the paper contributes to the literature that attempts to explain how norms arise, how they are maintained and how they are changed.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://external-apps.qut.edu.au/business/documents/discussionPapers/2008/232Torgler.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 232.

as in new window
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2008
Date of revision: 16 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:232

Contact details of provider:
Postal: GPO Box 2434, BRISBANE QLD 4001
Email:
Web page: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/faculty/economics/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Tax Morale; Social Learning; Conformity; Convergence Process; Deterrence; Quasi-Natural Experiment;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," Microeconomics 0305010, EconWPA.
  2. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1999. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-40, January.
  3. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "What Shapes Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes? Evidence from Multicultural European Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 443-470.
  5. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
  6. Paldam, M. & Svendsen, G.T., 2000. "Missing Social Capital and the Transition in Eastern Europe," Papers 00-5, Aarhus School of Business - Department of Economics.
  7. Vives, X., 1990. "How Fast Do Rational Agents Learn?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 135-90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Ronald G. Cummings & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Michael McKee & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence," NCER Working Paper Series 12, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  9. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Sijbren Cnossen & Hans-Werner Sinn (ed.), 2003. "Public Finance and Public Policy in the New Century," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033046, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 286, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Joel Slemrod, 2002. "Trust in Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 9187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
  15. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, April.
  16. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
  17. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  19. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
  21. 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.
  22. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Wilde, Louis L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Federal Income Tax Auditing and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 61-74, March.
  23. Elffers, Henk & Weigel, Russell H. & Hessing, Dick J., 1987. "The consequences of different strategies for measuring tax evasion behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 311-337, September.
  24. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
  25. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 201, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  26. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  27. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, 06.
  28. Benno Torgler, 2002. "Does Culture Matter? Tax Morale in East-West-German Comparison," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(4), pages 504-, December.
  29. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  30. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-83, December.
  31. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
  32. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  33. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
  34. Dubin, Jeffrey A & Graetz, Michael J & Wilde, Louis L, 1987. "Are We a Nation of Tax Cheaters? New Econometric Evidence on Tax Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 240-45, May.
  35. Roberto Burguet & Xavier Vives, 2000. "Social learning and costly information acquisition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 185-205.
  36. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  37. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  38. Benno Torgler, 2003. "The Importance of Faith: Tax Morale and Religiosity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  39. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2001. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability: Addendum," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 164-174, March.
  40. Annette Mummert & Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "The German Shadow Economy: Parted in a United Germany?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 286-, July.
  41. Posner, Eric A, 1998. "Symbols, Signals, and Social Norms in Politics and the Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 765-98, June.
  42. Spicer, M W & Lundstedt, S B, 1976. "Understanding Tax Evasion," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 31(2), pages 295-305.
  43. Erard, Brian & Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-89.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion, and the Shadow Economy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Torgler, Benno, 2011. "Tax morale and compliance : review of evidence and case studies for Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5922, The World Bank.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:232. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Angela Fletcher).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.