IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jecsur/v32y2018i2p273-301.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

From The Lab To The Field: A Review Of Tax Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Giulia Mascagni

Abstract

Tax experiments have been gaining momentum in recent years, although this literature dates back several decades. With new developments in methods and data availability, tax experiments have gradually moved away from lab settings and towards the field. This movement from the lab to the field has happened against the background of the ‘credibility revolution’ in applied economics, which has seen more rigorous methods applied to policy relevant questions, and of the availability to researchers of administrative data from tax returns. These developments have allowed significant advances in the experimental literature on tax compliance. This paper reviews this literature, giving particular attention to field experiments using administrative data, but putting them in the broader context of the compliance literature. A particular effort is made to take a global perspective, in a literature that is only recently seeing the emergence of evidence from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulia Mascagni, 2018. "From The Lab To The Field: A Review Of Tax Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 273-301, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:2:p:273-301
    DOI: 10.1111/joes.12201
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/joes.12201
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    2. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Cait Lamberton & Michael I. Norton, 2014. "Eliciting Taxpayer Preferences Increases Tax Compliance," CEP Discussion Papers dp1270, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge & Schulz-Herzenberg, Collette & Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem, 2012. "Peoples’ Views of Taxation in Africa: a Review of Research of Determinants of Tax Compliance," Working Papers 2306, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    4. Kirchler, Erich & Hoelzl, Erik & Wahl, Ingrid, 2008. "Enforced versus voluntary tax compliance: The "slippery slope" framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 210-225, April.
    5. Giacomo De Giorgi & Matthew Ploenzke & Aminur Rahman, 2018. "Small Firms’ Formalisation: The Stick Treatment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(6), pages 983-1001, June.
    6. Annette Alstadsæter & Wojciech Kopczuk & Kjetil Telle, 2019. "Social networks and tax avoidance: evidence from a well-defined Norwegian tax shelter," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(6), pages 1291-1328, December.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton%20instruments%20of%20development%20keynes%20lecture%202009 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dayanand S. Manoli & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Nudges and Learning: Evidence from Informational Interventions for Low-Income Taxpayers," NBER Working Papers 20718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers 1128, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    10. Fjeldstad, Odd-helge & Semboja, Joseph, 2001. "Why People Pay Taxes: The Case of the Development Levy in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2059-2074, December.
    11. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Francesco Drago & Friederike Mengel & Christian Traxler, 2020. "Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 96-133, April.
    15. Paler, Laura, 2013. "Keeping the Public Purse: An Experiment in Windfalls, Taxes, and the Incentives to Restrain Government," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 706-725, November.
    16. Becker, Winfried & Buchner, Heinz-Jurgen & Sleeking, Simon, 1987. "The impact of public transfer expenditures on tax evasion : An experimental approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 243-252, November.
    17. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    18. Giorgio Coricelli & Mateus Joffily & Claude Montmarquette & Marie Villeval, 2010. "Cheating, emotions, and rationality: an experiment on tax evasion," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(2), pages 226-247, June.
    19. Nadja Dwenger & Henrik Kleven & Imran Rasul & Johannes Rincke, 2016. "Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 203-232, August.
    20. Lucie Gadenne, 2017. "Tax Me, but Spend Wisely? Sources of Public Finance and Government Accountability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 274-314, January.
    21. 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.
    22. Philipp Doerrenberg & Jan Schmitz, 2017. "Tax compliance and information provision. A field experiment with small firms," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(1), pages 47-54, February.
    23. Katharina Gangl & Erich Kirchler & Christian Lorenz & Benno Torgler, 2015. "Wealthy Tax Non-Filers in a Developing Nation: The Roles of Taxpayer Knowledge, Perceived Corruption and Service Orientation in Pakistan," CREMA Working Paper Series 2015-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    24. Dulleck, Uwe & Fooken, Jonas & Newton, Cameron & Ristl, Andrea & Schaffner, Markus & Torgler, Benno, 2016. "Tax compliance and psychic costs: Behavioral experimental evidence using a physiological marker," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 9-18.
    25. Christian Gillitzer & Peer Ebbesen Skov, 2013. "Evidence on Unclaimed Charitable Contributions from the Introduction of Third-Party Information Reporting in Denmark," EPRU Working Paper Series 2013-04, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    26. Gangl, Katharina & Torgler, Benno & Kirchler, Erich & Hofmann, Eva, 2014. "Effects of supervision on tax compliance: Evidence from a field experiment in Austria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 378-382.
    27. Calvet Christian, Roberta & Alm, James, 2014. "Empathy, sympathy, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 62-82.
    28. Calvin Blackwell, 2007. "A Meta-Analysis of Tax Compliance Experiments," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0724, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    29. Coricelli, Giorgio & Rusconi, Elena & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Tax evasion and emotions: An empirical test of re-integrative shaming theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 49-61.
    30. Hallsworth, Michael & List, John A. & Metcalfe, Robert D. & Vlaev, Ivo, 2017. "The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 14-31.
    31. Naomi E. Feldman & Peter Katuš?ák & Laura Kawano, 2016. "Taxpayer Confusion: Evidence from the Child Tax Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 807-835, March.
    32. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton%20instruments%20of%20development%20keynes%20lecture%202009.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Luigi Bosco & Luigi Mittone, 1997. "Tax Evasion and Moral Constraints: some Experimental Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 297-324, August.
    34. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    35. 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.
    36. Luigi Mittone, 1997. "Subjective versus objective probability: results from seven experiments on fiscal evasion," CEEL Working Papers 9704, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    37. Mascagni, Giulia & Nell, Christopher & Monkam, Nara & Mukama, Denis, 2016. "The Carrot and the Stick: Evidence on Voluntary Tax Compliance from a Pilot Field Experiment in Rwanda," Working Papers 12798, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    38. Joel Slemrod & Caroline Weber, 2012. "Evidence of the invisible: toward a credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of tax evasion and the informal economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(1), pages 25-53, February.
    39. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
    40. 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, vol. 70(3), pages 447-457, June.
    41. 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.
    42. Ann-Kathrin Koessler & Benno Torgler & Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2016. "Commitment to Pay Taxes: A Field Experiment on the Importance of Promise," CESifo Working Paper Series 6186, CESifo.
    43. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Collette Schulz-Herzenberg & Ingrid Hoem Sjursen, 2012. "Peoples' views of taxation in Africa: A review of research on determinants of tax compliance," CMI Working Papers 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    44. Klarita Gërxhani, 2007. "“Did You Pay Your Taxes?” How (Not) to Conduct Tax Evasion Surveys in Transition Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 555-581, February.
    45. Torgler, Benno, 2002. "Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-683, December.
    46. Slemrod, Joel & Collins, Brett & Hoopes, Jeffrey L. & Reck, Daniel & Sebastiani, Michael, 2017. "Does credit-card information reporting improve small-business tax compliance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 1-19.
    47. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    48. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2011. "Do Ethics Matter? Tax Compliance and Morality," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 101(4), pages 635-651, July.
    49. 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.
    50. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
    51. 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.
    52. Spicer, Michael W. & Thomas, J. Everett, 1982. "Audit probabilities and the tax evasion decision: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 241-245, September.
    53. Khan, Adnan Q. & Khwaja, Asim I. & Olken, Benjamin A., 2016. "Tax farming redux: experimental evidence on performance pay for tax collectors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66265, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    54. 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.
    55. Spicer, Michael W. & Hero, Rodney E., 1985. "Tax evasion and heuristics : A research note," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 263-267, March.
    56. Michael Hallsworth, 2014. "The use of field experiments to increase tax compliance," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 658-679.
    57. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    58. Brian Erard & Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1994. "Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
    59. Friedland, Nehemiah & Maital, Shlomo & Rutenberg, Aryeh, 1978. "A simulation study of income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 107-116, August.
    60. Nigar Hashimzade & Gareth D. Myles & Binh Tran-Nam, 2013. "Applications Of Behavioural Economics To Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 941-977, December.
    61. Adnan Q. Khan & Asim I. Khwaja & Benjamin A. Olken, 2016. "Tax Farming Redux: Experimental Evidence on Performance Pay for Tax Collectors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 219-271.
    62. 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).
    63. Mascagni, Giulia & Nell, Christopher & Monkam, Nara, 2017. "One Size Does Not Fit All: A Field Experiment on the Drivers of Tax Compliance and Delivery Methods in Rwanda," Working Papers 12838, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    64. 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;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(1), pages 125-138, March.
    65. repec:pri:rpdevs:instruments_of_development.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Giulia Mascagni, 2018. "From The Lab To The Field: A Review Of Tax Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 273-301, April.
    2. James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 353-388, April.
    3. Pomeranz, Dina D. & Vila-Belda, José, 2019. "Taking State-Capacity Research to the Field: Insights from Collaborations with Tax Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 13688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    5. Hallsworth, Michael & List, John A. & Metcalfe, Robert D. & Vlaev, Ivo, 2017. "The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 14-31.
    6. James Alm & Matthias Kasper, 2020. "Laboratory Experiments," Working Papers 2008, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    7. Kristina M. Bott & Alexander W. Cappelen & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2020. "You’ve Got Mail: A Randomized Field Experiment on Tax Evasion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(7), pages 2801-2819, July.
    8. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja & Sinning, Mathias, 2017. "Behavioral Insights and Business Taxation: Evidence from Two Randomized Controlled Trials," IZA Discussion Papers 10795, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja M. & Sinning, Mathias, 2018. "Behavioral insights on business taxation: Evidence from two natural field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 30-49.
    10. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2017. "Tax morale and the role of social norms and reciprocity - Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ifo Working Paper Series 242, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    11. Antinyan, Armenak & Asatryan, Zareh, 2019. "Nudging for tax compliance: A meta-analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-055, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    12. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
    13. Colin C. Williams, 2014. "Confronting the Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15370.
    14. Philipp Doerrenberg & Jan Schmitz, 2017. "Tax compliance and information provision. A field experiment with small firms," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(1), pages 47-54, February.
    15. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    16. James Alm & Laura Rosales Cifuentes & Carlos Mauricio Ortiz Niño & Diana Rocha, 2019. "Can Behavioral “Nudges” Improve Compliance? The Case of Colombia Social Protection Contributions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(4), pages 1-23, October.
    17. Ortega, Daniel & Scartascini, Carlos, 2020. "Don’t blame the messenger. The Delivery method of a message matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 286-300.
    18. Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2014. "Tax Morale," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 149-168, Fall.
    19. Marcelo L. Bérgolo & Rodrigo Ceni & Guillermo Cruces & Matias Giaccobasso & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 23631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. James Alm & William D. Schulze & Carrie von Bose & Jubo Yan, 2019. "Appeals to Social Norms and Taxpayer Compliance," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 638-666, October.

    More about this item

    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:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:2:p:273-301. 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: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0950-0804 .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.