Expanding the Theory of Tax Compliance from Individual to Group Motivations
AbstractTaxpayers face well-known and well-identified individual motivations in their compliance decisions, motivations that originate with the standard economic model of tax evasion in which financial incentives are shaped by audit, penalty, and tax rates. However, there is growing evidence that these individual incentives, while important, are not always decisive. Individuals do not always behave as the selfish, rational, self-interested individuals portrayed in the standard neoclassical paradigm, but rather are often motivated by many other factors that have as their main foundation some aspects of social norms, morality, altruism, fairness, or the like, factors that I broadly and no doubt imprecisely lump together as group motivations. I argue that the compliance puzzle can be explained, at least in part, by expanding the standard analysis of individual compliance behavior to incorporate the important ways in which individual decisions are shaped by group motivations. I also provide empirical and experimental evidence to support these arguments, and, I suggest â€“ and predict â€“ some promising lines of future research.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1309.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
tax evasion; behavioral economics; experimental economics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2013-03-30 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-03-30 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CDM-2013-03-30 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EXP-2013-03-30 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2013-03-30 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-IUE-2013-03-30 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2013-03-30 (Public Finance)
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.:
- James C. Cox, 2012. "Private Goods, Public Goods and Common Pools with Homo Reciprocans," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-06, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- 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.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
- 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).
- Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-71.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, .
"A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation,"
IEW - Working Papers
004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
- Kirchler, Erich & Hoelzl, Erik & Wahl, Ingrid, 2008. "Enforced versus voluntary tax compliance: The "slippery slope" framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 210-225, April.
- 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.
- Bernasconi, Michele, 1998. "Tax evasion and orders of risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 123-134, January.
- Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
- James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazque & Benno Torgler, 2006.
"Russian attitudes toward paying taxes – before, during, and after the transition,"
International Journal of Social Economics,
Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(12), pages 832-857, December.
- Benno Torgler & James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes – Before, During, and After the Transition," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0518, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes ? Before, During, and After the Transition," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-27, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
- 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.
- Agnar Sandmo, 2012. "An evasive topic: theorizing about the hidden economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 5-24, February.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 94-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
- Roberta Calvet & James Alm, 2013. "Empathy, Sympathy, and Tax Compliance," Working Papers 1310, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- Henrik J. Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus T. Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence from a Randomized Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," NBER Working Papers 15769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Joel Slemrod & Caroline Weber, 2012. "Evidence of the invisible: toward a credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of tax evasion and the informal economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 25-53, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Finlay).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.