Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion
No government can announce a tax system and then rely on taxpayers' sense of duty to remit what is owed. Some dutiful people will undoubtedly pay what they owe, but many others will not. Over time the ranks of the dutiful will shrink, as they see how they are being taken advantage of by the others. Thus, paying taxes must be made a legal responsibility of citizens, with penalties attendant on noncompliance. But even in the face of those penalties, substantial tax evasion exists. Tax evasion is widespread, always has been, and probably always will be. This essay reviews what is known about the magnitude, nature, and determinants of tax evasion, with an emphasis on the U.S. income tax. It then places this information into a conceptual context, examining various models and theories, and considers policy implications.
Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2004.
"Quality of Government Services and the Civic Duty to Pay Taxes in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and other Transition Countries,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 237-252, 05.
- Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2002. "Quality of Government Services and the Civic Duty to Pay Taxes in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and other Transition Countries," Public Economics 0209007, EconWPA.
- Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996.
9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000.
"Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
322, CESifo Group Munich.
- Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1985.
"The Optimal Size of a Tax Collection Agency,"
NBER Working Papers
1759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
- Baldry, J C, 1984. "The Enforcement of Income Tax Laws: Efficiency Implications," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 60(169), pages 156-59, June.
- 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.
- Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Tax Structure in Developing Countries: Many Puzzles and a Possible Explanation," NBER Working Papers 11267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benno Torgler, 2004.
"Moral suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland,"
Economics of Governance,
Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 235-253, November.
- Benno Torgler, 2004. "Moral Suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Naomi E. Feldman & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Estimating tax noncompliance with evidence from unaudited tax returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 327-352, 03.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2006. "Putting Firms into Optimal Tax Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 130-134, May.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
- Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-83.
- Kong-Pin & C.Y. Cyrus Chu, 2005. "Internal Control versus External Manipulation: A Model of Corporate Income Tax Evasion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 151-164, Spring.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- 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.
- Charles Christian & Joel Slemrod & Marsha Blumenthal, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: Evidence from a controlled experiment in minnesota," Natural Field Experiments 00332, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
- Joel Slemrod, 2004.
"The Economics of Corporate Tax Selfishness,"
NBER Working Papers
10858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000.
"The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications,"
NBER Working Papers
7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
- Falkinger, Josef, 1995. "Tax evasion, consumption of public goods and fairness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 63-72, March.
- Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1996. "The Costs of Taxation and the Marginal Efficiency Cost of Funds," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 172-198, March.
- Klepper, Steven & Nagin, Daniel, 1989. "The Anatomy of Tax Evasion," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, Spring.
- Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2007.
"Why do people pay taxes? Prospect theory versus expected utility theory,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 171-192, September.
- Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2005. "Why Do People Pay Taxes? Prospect Theory Versus Expected Utility Theory," Discussion Papers in Economics 05/23, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Aug 2006.
- Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
- Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
- Joel Slemrod & Jon Bakija, 2004. "Taxing Ourselves, 3rd Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 026269302x, June.
- Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
- Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March.
- Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1991. "An Econometric Analysis of Income Tax Evasion and its Detection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 14-35, Spring.
- Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 643-63, December.
- Mayshar, Joram, 1991. " Taxation with Costly Administration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 75-88.
- Crocker, Keith J. & Slemrod, Joel, 2005.
"Corporate tax evasion with agency costs,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1593-1610, September.
- Kong-Pin Chen & C.Y. Cyrus Chu, 2005. "Internal Control vs. External Manipulation: A Model of Corporate Income Tax Evasion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 151-164, Winter.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F338-47, June.
- Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
- Sung Won Kang & Hugh Rockoff, 2006. "Capitalizing Patriotism: The Liberty Loans of World War I," NBER Working Papers 11919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:1:p:25-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.