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Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting

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  • Alm, James
  • McClelland, Gary H
  • Schulze, William D

Abstract

This paper argues that there is a social norm of tax compliance that affects individual reporting decisions and that can be affected by voting on different aspects of the fiscal system. Experimental results are consistent with a central role for social norms. Individual compliance after a vote is decidedly different from prevote compliance under the identical fiscal regime, in particular, compliance always falls dramatically after the group signals its rejection of the social norm by voting against greater enforcement. However, the results also suggest that social norms can be affected by group communication; in particular, postvote reporting with communication approaches full compliance. Copyright 1999 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-171.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:52:y:1999:i:2:p:141-71
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