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Social esteem versus social stigma: The role of anonymity in an income reporting game

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  • Casal, Sandro
  • Mittone, Luigi

Abstract

This paper aims at experimentally testing the role of different non-monetary (dis)incentives on tax compliance. Participants were subjected to different experimental conditions where the role played by anonymity differed. As expected, anonymity does play an important role in the decision to pay taxes. In addition, we found that a negative non-monetary incentive increases tax compliance more effectively than a positive non-monetary incentive. We also found that the effect of these non-monetary incentives is mitigated when too much information is made available. Results show that, when evasion is made public, tax fraudsters are willing to pay in order to keep their dishonest behaviour undisclosed and to avoid public shame. Interestingly we found a misalignment on the impact of stigmatization, namely that the judgement of an individual's evasion is perceived, by the individual, more harshly than a judgement made by the said individual regarding evasion carried out by other parties.

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  • Casal, Sandro & Mittone, Luigi, 2016. "Social esteem versus social stigma: The role of anonymity in an income reporting game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 55-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:124:y:2016:i:c:p:55-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.09.014
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    Cited by:

    1. Kandul, Serhiy & Uhl, Matthias, 2016. "Inspirations or incitements? Ethical mind-sets and the effect of moral examples," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 146-153.
    2. Christian Schitter & Jürgen Fleiß & Stefan Palan, 2017. "To claim or not to claim: Anonymity, reciprocal externalities and honesty," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-01, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    3. Alm, James & Bernasconi, Michele & Laury, Susan & Lee, Daniel J. & Wallace, Sally, 2017. "Culture, compliance, and confidentiality: Taxpayer behavior in the United States and Italy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 176-196.
    4. Arbex, Marcelo & Carré, Justin M. & Geniole, Shawn N. & Mattos, Enlinson, 2018. "Tax evasion, testosterone and personality traits," Textos para discussão 466, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    5. Marcelo Arbex & Justin M. Carre & Shawn N. Geniole & Enlinson Mattos, 2018. "Testosterone, personality traits and tax evasion," Working Papers 1801, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.
    6. Holm, Hakan J. & Samahita, Margaret, 2016. "Curating Social Image: Experimental Evidence on the Value of Actions and Selfies," Working Papers 2016:8, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 14 Nov 2016.

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