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Who Benefits from Tax Evasion?

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Author Info

  • James Alm

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Keith Finlay

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the distributional effects of tax evasion, using results from theoretical, experimental, empirical, and especially the general equilibrium literatures on tax evasion. Much, if not all, of this evidence concludes that the main beneficiaries of successful tax evasion are the tax evaders themselves, with distributional effects that largely favor higher income individuals. However, when general equilibrium adjustments in commodity and factor prices are considered, the distributional effects become considerably more complicated. The work on tax compliance is also put in the broader context of the distributional effects of other types of criminal activities, where similar forces seem to be at work. We conclude with some suggestions for future research.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1214.pdf
File Function: First Version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1214

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Keywords: tax evasion; general equilibrium;

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References

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  1. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Alm, James, 1985. "The Welfare Cost of the Underground Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 243-63, April.
  4. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1989. "Income tax evasion : An intersectoral analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 137-182, March.
  5. James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2011. "Do eBay Sellers Comply with State Sales Taxes?," Working Papers 1106, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  6. Jung, Young H. & Snow, Arthur & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Tax evasion and the size of the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 391-402, July.
  7. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 1996. "On the political economy of income redistribution and crime," Working Paper 9609, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
  9. Alm, James & Bahl, Roy & Murray, Matthew N, 1991. "Tax Base Erosion in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(4), pages 849-72, July.
  10. Alm, James & Blackwell, Calvin & McKee, Michael, 2004. "Audit Selection and Firm Compliance with a Broad-based Sales Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 209-27, June.
  11. Agnar Sandmo, 2012. "An evasive topic: theorizing about the hidden economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 5-24, February.
  12. Furlong, William J., 1987. "A general equilibrium model of crime commission and prevention," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 87-103, October.
  13. Thalmann, Philippe, 1992. "Factor taxes and evasion in general equilibrium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 259-283, June.
  14. Watson, Harry, 1985. "Tax evasion and labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 231-246, July.
  15. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1, May.
  16. Persson, Mats & Wissen, Pehr, 1984. " Redistributional Aspects of Tax Evasion," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 131-49.
  17. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  18. Pope, Jaren C., 2008. "Fear of crime and housing prices: Household reactions to sex offender registries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 601-614, November.
  19. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Serra-Puche, Jaime, 1983. "A computational general equilibrium model with endogenous unemployment : An analysis of the 1980 fiscal reform in Mexico," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-26, October.
  20. Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-27, June.
  21. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215.
  22. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  23. Alm, James & Jacobson, Sarah, 2007. "Using Laboratory Experimentsin Public Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(1), pages 129-52, March.
  24. James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012. "Cross-border Shopping and State Use Tax Liabilities: Evidence from eBay Transactions," Working Papers 1205, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States," Working Papers 1317, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.

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