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The last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriotism and tax compliance

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Qari, Salmai

Abstract

We study the effects of patriotism on tax compliance. In particular, we assume that individuals feel a (random draw of) warm glow from honestly paying their taxes. A higher expected warm glow reduces the government's optimal audit probability and yields higher tax compliance. Second, individuals with higher warm glow are less likely to evade taxes. This prediction is confirmed empirically by a multivariate analysis on the individual level while controlling for several other potentially confounding factors. The findings survive a variety of robustness checks, including an instrumental variables estimation to tackle the possible endogeneity of patriotism. On the aggregate level, we provide evidence for a negative correlation between average patriotic warm glow and the size of the shadow economy across several countries. -- Ob ein Individuum versucht, durch falsche Angaben gegenüber den Steuerbehörden die persönliche Steuerlast zu reduzieren, hängt sowohl von monetären als auch von nicht-monetären Faktoren ab. Monetäre Faktoren sind vor allem die Wahrscheinlichkeit, mit der ein versuchter Betrug aufgedeckt wird, und die Höhe der Strafzahlung. Wir untersuchen zunächst theoretisch, wie Patriotismus (Heimatbindung) als ein nicht-monetärer Faktor die Steuerehrlichkeit beeinflusst. Personen mit gleichem Einkommen, aber höherer Heimatbindung, geben auch mit höherer Wahrscheinlichkeit ihr Einkommen korrekt an. Weiterhin führt eine Erhöhung der durchschnittlichen Heimatbindung über die gesamte Steuerbevölkerung dazu, dass im Gleichgewicht der Anteil der Steuerhinterzieher geringer wird. Diese beiden Hypothesen werden empirisch mit Hilfe von Surveydaten überprüft und bestätigt. Für die erste Hypothese auf Ebene des Individuums erlauben es die Daten, die Robustheit des empirischen Ergebnisses umfangreich zu überprüfen. Eine Vielzahl von Spezifikationen, inklusive einer Instrumentvariablenschätzung, bestätigen den positiven Zusammenhang zwischen Heimatbindung und (der Einstellung zur) Steuerehrlichkeit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2009-04.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200904

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Keywords: Patriotism; tax evasion; warm glow;

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References

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  1. Patriotism and tax compliance
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-08-03 20:01:00
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