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Tax return as a political statement

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  • Libman, Alexander
  • Schultz, André
  • Graeber, Thomas
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    Abstract

    The accuracy of a tax return is usually interpreted as an outcome of the tax evasion decision by an individual. However, in non-democratic regimes with predatory blackmail tax systems it is possible that large sums voluntarily reported by influential politicians or businessmen may be used as political statements. By openly acknowledging one's personal income an individual can signal the strength of one's position, or, on the contrary, the submissiveness to the political leadership. In this paper we explore the idea of the tax return as a political statement and test it using a unique dataset of the tax returns filed by the Russian regional governors and the members of their families for the year 2009. Our results conjecture that Russian governors may deliberately file their tax return as a political statement to signal their strength vis-à-vis the central government. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 169.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:169

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    Related research

    Keywords: tax compliance; communication in non-democracies; Russian regions;

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    References

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    1. Johannes Becker & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Politicians’ outside earnings and electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 379-394, September.
    2. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    3. Roger Congleton, 2001. "On the Durability of King and Council: The Continuum Between Dictatorship and Democracy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 193-215, September.
    4. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2007. "Myth and Reality of Flat Tax Reform: Micro Estimates of Tax Evasion Response and Welfare Effects in Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 3267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bigsten, Arne, 2011. "Fiscal capacity and government accountability in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 506, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Cummings, Ronald G. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McKee, Michael & Torgler, Benno, 2009. "Tax morale affects tax compliance: Evidence from surveys and an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 447-457, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dietmar Harhoff & Elisabeth Mueller & John Van Reenen, 2013. "What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies," CEP Discussion Papers dp1193, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Libman, Alexander & Kozlov, Vladimir & Schultz, André, 2012. "Roving bandits in action: Outside option and governmental predation in autocracies," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 190, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    3. Inklaar, Robert & Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix, 2012. "Who's afraid of big bad banks? Bank competition, SME, and industry growth," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 197, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    4. Böing, Philipp & Müller, Elisabeth, 2012. "Technological Capabilities of Chinese Enterprises: Who is Going to Compete Abroad?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62081, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Kostka, Genia & Moslener, Ulf & Andreas, Jan G., 2011. "Barriers to energy efficiency improvement: Empirical evidence from small-and-medium sized enterprises in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 178, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth & Sandner, Philipp, 2012. "What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 196, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

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