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Happiness and Tax Morale: an Empirical Analysis

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  • Diego Lubian

    ()
    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Luca Zarri

    ()
    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence that \tax morale" - taxpayers' intrinsic motivation to pay taxes - constitutes a new determinant of happiness, even after controlling for several demographic and socioeconomic factors. Using data on Italian households for 2004, we assess the strength of tax morale by relying on single items as well as composite multi-item indices. Our main result that scal honesty generates a higher hedonic payo than cheating is in line with Harbaugh et al. (2007)'s neuroeconomic nding. Further, it sheds light on the well-known \puzzle of compliance", that is the fact that many individuals pay taxes even when expected penalty and audit probability are extremely low: tax compliance is less puzzling once we show that not only it is materially costly, but also provides sizeable non-pecuniary bene ts that make it rewarding in itself.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04/2011.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:04/2011

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Keywords: Happiness; Tax Morale; Tax Compliance;

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References

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  1. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 2541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2008. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 1-33, February.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Paying tax makes you happy
    by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2011-04-12 13:17:51
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Cited by:
  1. Filippin, Antonio & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Viviano, Eliana, 2013. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax morale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 320-331.
  2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Nice Guys Finish Last: Are People with Higher Tax Morale Taxed More Heavily?," IZA Discussion Papers 6275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alpaslan Akay & Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2012. "Happy Taxpayers? Income Taxation and Well-Being," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 526, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Cãtãlina Cozmei, 2012. "Playing The Fiscal Lottery Game," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 6(1), pages 511-521, November.
  5. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.

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