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On the path dependence of tax compliance

  • Bruttel, Lisa
  • Friehe, Tim

This paper presents experimental evidence that tax compliance is path dependent. For given values of the audit probability and the fine for tax evasion, we compare the income declaration of subjects who faced a change in one of the two parameters to that of subjects who experienced no such parameter change. We show that past tax enforcement regimes continue to have an impact on current income declarations. This finding may be explained by reference-dependent preferences and it has important policy implications. For instance, legal transplants cannot be expected to reliably yield similar behavior in countries with different legal histories.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 65 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 90-107

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:65:y:2014:i:c:p:90-107
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