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What Motivates Tax Compliance?

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  • James Alm

Abstract

In this paper, I review and assess what we have learned about what motivates individuals to pay – or to not pay – their legally due tax liabilities. I focus on three specific questions. First, what does theory say about what motivates tax compliance? Second, what does the evidence show? Third, how can government use these insights to improve compliance? I conclude with some suggestions – and some predictions – for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 353-388, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:33:y:2019:i:2:p:353-388
    DOI: 10.1111/joes.12272
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    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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