Empathy, Sympathy, and Tax Compliance
AbstractThis paper examines the effect of "empathy" and "sympathy" on tax compliance. We run a series of laboratory experiments in which we observe the subjects' decisions in a series of one-shot tax compliance games presented at once and with no immediate feedback. Importantly, we employ methods to identify subjects' sympathy, such as the Davis Empathic Concern Scale and questions about frequency of prosocial behaviors; we also use priming in order to promote subjects' empathy. Our results suggest that the presence of sympathy in most cases encourages more tax compliance. Our results also suggest that priming to elicit empathy also has a positive impact on tax compliance. These results support the inclusion of noneconomic factors in the analysis of tax compliance behavior.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1310.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Tax evasion; Emotions; Morality; Identity; Behavioral economics; Experimental economics;
Other versions of this item:
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-03-30 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- 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-PBE-2013-03-30 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2013-03-30 (Public Finance)
- NEP-SOC-2013-03-30 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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