IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v105y2015i8p2539-69.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax

Author

Listed:
  • Dina Pomeranz

Abstract

Claims that the VAT facilitates tax enforcement by generating paper trails on transactions between firms contributed to widespread VAT adoption worldwide, but there is surprisingly little evidence. This paper analyzes the role of third-party information for VAT enforcement through two randomized experiments among over 400,000 Chilean firms. Announcing additional monitoring has less impact on transactions that are subject to a paper trail, indicating the paper trail's preventive deterrence effect. This leads to strong enforcement spillovers up the VAT chain. These findings confirm that when taking evasion into account, significant differences emerge between otherwise equivalent forms of taxation. (JEL D83, H25, H26, K34, O17)

Suggested Citation

  • Dina Pomeranz, 2015. "No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2539-2569, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:8:p:2539-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130393
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.20130393
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/10508/20130393_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/10508/20130393_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/app/10508/20130393_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul E. Carrillo & M. Shahe Emran & Anita Rivadeneira, 2011. "Do Cheaters Bunch Together? Profit Taxes, Withholding Rates and Tax Evasion," Working Papers 2011-03, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    2. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
    3. Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from "Missing Imports" in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 471-500, April.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    5. Bird,Richard & Gendron,Pierre-Pascal, 2011. "The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107401440.
    6. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.
    7. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio E. Montenegro, 2011. "Shadow Economies All Over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007," Chapters, in: Friedrich Schneider (ed.), Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "The power of information : evidence from a newspaper campaign to reduce capture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3239, The World Bank.
    9. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
    10. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2016. "Why Can Modern Governments Tax So Much? An Agency Model of Firms as Fiscal Intermediaries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(330), pages 219-246, April.
    11. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2013. "Testing Enforcement Strategies In The Field: Threat, Moral Appeal And Social Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 634-660, June.
    12. Jens Ludwig & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2011. "Mechanism Experiments and Policy Evaluations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 17-38, Summer.
    13. James Alm & John Deskins & Michael McKee, 2009. "Do Individuals Comply on Income Not Reported by Their Employer?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 37(2), pages 120-141, March.
    14. Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3935, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Áureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-221, October.
    16. Dal Bó, Ernesto & Dal Bó, Pedro, 2014. "“Do the right thing:” The effects of moral suasion on cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 28-38.
    17. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, May.
    18. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2010. "The value added tax: Its causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 138-151, July.
    19. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2006. "Putting Firms into Optimal Tax Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 130-134, May.
    20. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
    21. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "A simple feasible procedure to fit models with high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(4), pages 628-649, December.
    22. 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.
    23. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2011. "Rent Seeking and Corruption in Financial Markets," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 579-600, September.
    24. Ira N. Gang & Arindam Das-Gupta, 1998. "Value Added Tax Evasion, Auditing and Transactions Matching," Departmental Working Papers 199607, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    25. Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Does It Matter Who Writes the Check to the Government? The Economics of Tax Remittance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(2), pages 251-275, June.
    26. Engström, Per & Hesselius, Patrik, 2007. "The information method - theory and application," Working Paper Series 2007:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    27. Johannes Rincke & Christian Traxler, 2011. "Enforcement Spillovers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1224-1234, November.
    28. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio Montenegro, 2010. "New Estimates for the Shadow Economies all over the World," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 443-461.
    29. Agha, Ali & Haughton, Jonathan, 1996. "Designing VAT Systems: Some Efficiency Considerations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 303-308, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dina Pomeranz & José Vila-Belda, 2019. "Taking State-Capacity Research to the Field: Insights from Collaborations with Tax Authorities," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 755-781, August.
    2. Jianjun Li & Xuan Wang, 2020. "Does VAT have higher tax compliance than a turnover tax? Evidence from China," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(2), pages 280-311, April.
    3. Todd Kumler & Eric Verhoogen & Judith Frías, 2020. "Enlisting Employees in Improving Payroll Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(5), pages 881-896, December.
    4. Chen, Shawn Xiaoguang, 2017. "The effect of a fiscal squeeze on tax enforcement: Evidence from a natural experiment in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 62-76.
    5. Qian, Nancy & Liu, Yu & Wen, Jaya & Fan, Haichao, 2018. "The Dynamic Effects of Computerized VAT Invoices on Chinese Manufacturing Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 12786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Rainone, Edoardo, 2023. "Tax evasion policies and the demand for cash," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    7. Miguel Almunia & David Lopez-Rodriguez, 2018. "Under the Radar: The Effects of Monitoring Firms on Tax Compliance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, February.
    8. Eduardo Zilberman, 2016. "Audits or Distortions: The Optimal Scheme to Enforce Self-Employment Income Taxes," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(4), pages 511-544, August.
    9. Antonio Gómez Gómez-Plana & Pedro Pascual Arzoz, 2011. "Fraude fiscal e IVA en España: incidencia en un modelo de equilibrio general," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 199(4), pages 9-52, December.
    10. Paul Carrillo & Dina Pomeranz & Monica Singhal, 2017. "Dodging the Taxman: Firm Misreporting and Limits to Tax Enforcement," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 144-164, April.
    11. Joel Slemrod & Obeid Ur Rehman & Mazhar Waseem, 2022. "How Do Taxpayers Respond to Public Disclosure and Social Recognition Programs? Evidence from Pakistan," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 116-132, March.
    12. Michael Carlos Best & Anne Brockmeyer & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Johannes Spinnewijn & Mazhar Waseem, 2015. "Production versus Revenue Efficiency with Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(6), pages 1311-1355.
    13. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.
    14. Haichao Fan & Yu Liu & Nancy Qian & Jaya Wen, 2018. "Computerizing VAT Invoices in China," NBER Working Papers 24414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Joel Slemrod & Obeid Ur Rehman & Mazhar Waseem, 2019. "Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Motivations for Tax Compliance: Evidence from Pakistan," NBER Working Papers 25623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Joana Naritomi, 2019. "Consumers as Tax Auditors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3031-3072, September.
    17. Sanchez, Gonzalo E, 2015. "The Impact of Low-Cost Intervention on Tax Compliance: Regression Discontinuity Evidence," MPRA Paper 94949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Bachas, Pierre & Gadenne, Lucie & Jensen, Anders, 2020. "Informality, Consumption Taxes and Redistribution," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1277, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    19. Kleven, Henrik & Best, Michael & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Waseem, Mazhar & Brockmeyer, Anne, 2013. "Production vs Revenue Efficiency With Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence From Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 9717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. M. Martin Boyer & Philippe d'Astous, 2023. "Tax compliance and firm response to electronic sales monitoring," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 56(4), pages 1430-1468, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:8:p:2539-69. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.