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The impact of media campaigns on tax filing: quasi-experimental evidence from Pakistan

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  • Koumpias, Antonios M.
  • Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of mass media campaigns on income tax filing in Pakistan. The campaigns were conducted during the run up to the filing deadline of October 31 for the 2013–2014 tax year with survey data collected on tax eligible individuals soon after the filing deadline. We apply an inverse probability-weighted regression adjustment estimator to construct comparable treatment and control groups with respect to media exposure. We find that income tax filing increased in response to exposure to newspaper ads that provided information on tax eligibility but not in response to those that reported the tax filing deadline or the financial penalties of not filing. TV advertisements that relied on moral suasion and portrayed self-employed taxpayers improved tax filing among the self-employed but not among the broader survey population. This highlights the importance of both the content of the message and its targeting in media campaigns to enhance income tax filing.

Suggested Citation

  • Koumpias, Antonios M. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 2019. "The impact of media campaigns on tax filing: quasi-experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 33-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:33-43
    DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2019.05.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personal income tax; Income tax filing; Tax compliance; Tax morale; Nudging; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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