IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v155y2018icp288-300.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties

Author

Listed:
  • Garz, Marcel
  • Pagels, Verena

Abstract

This study investigates whether press coverage on celebrities with tax issues affects the behavior of other tax payers. We compile an original data set for Germany, including regional information on the amount of tax payers using amnesty regulations to voluntarily disclose taxes they have evaded. The data set also includes counts of news reports published by 6 national and 54 local newspapers that address celebrity tax evaders who were publicly tried between January 2010 and June 2016. We find a strong correlation between the amount of self-denunciations and the news coverage. To identify the causal effect, we use exogenous variation in the reporting, resulting from disasters and terrorist attacks that coincide with the celebrity trials. Instrumental variable estimates suggest that an increase in news coverage by the amount of an average trial raises participation in the tax amnesty program by approximately 22.5%. This finding helps to better understand the effectiveness of tax amnesties, and it illustrates the economic implications of publicly trying famous personalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Garz, Marcel & Pagels, Verena, 2018. "Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 288-300.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:155:y:2018:i:c:p:288-300
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.09.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268118302439
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hari Luitel & Mehmet Tosun, 2014. "A reexamination of state fiscal health and amnesty enactment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(5), pages 874-893, October.
    2. Das-Gupta, Arindam & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1996. "Tax Amnesties as Asset-Laundering Devices," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 408-431, October.
    3. William Robert Reed, 2015. "On the Practice of Lagging Variables to Avoid Simultaneity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(6), pages 897-905, December.
    4. Erlend E. Bø & Joel Slemrod & Thor O. Thoresen, 2015. "Taxes on the Internet: Deterrence Effects of Public Disclosure," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 36-62, February.
    5. Pietro Battiston & Denvil Duncan & Simona Gamba & Alessandro Santoro, 2016. "The Italian Blitz: a natural experiment on audit publicity and tax compliance," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-10, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    6. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:172-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    8. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:32-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    10. Wenzel, Michael, 2004. "An analysis of norm processes in tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-228, April.
    11. Bayer, Ralph-C. & Oberhofer, Harald & Winner, Hannes, 2015. "The occurrence of tax amnesties: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 70-82.
    12. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, May.
    13. Nadja Dwenger & Henrik Kleven & Imran Rasul & Johannes Rincke, 2016. "Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 203-232, August.
    14. Langenmayr, Dominika, 2017. "Voluntary disclosure of evaded taxes — Increasing revenue, or increasing incentives to evade?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 110-125.
    15. Kasper, Matthias & Kogler, Christoph & Kirchler, Erich, 2015. "Tax policy and the news: An empirical analysis of taxpayers’ perceptions of tax-related media coverage and its impact on tax compliance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 58-63.
    16. Craig Garthwaite & Timothy J. Moore, 2013. "Can Celebrity Endorsements Affect Political Outcomes? Evidence from the 2008 US Democratic Presidential Primary," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 355-384, April.
    17. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, 2014. "How Can Scandinavians Tax So Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 77-98, Fall.
    18. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Using Differences in Knowledge across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2683-2721, December.
    19. Hallsworth, Michael & List, John A. & Metcalfe, Robert D. & Vlaev, Ivo, 2017. "The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 14-31.
    20. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    21. Dina Pomeranz, 2015. "No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2539-2569, August.
    22. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    23. Ruben Durante & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2018. "Attack When the World Is Not Watching? US News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1085-1133.
    24. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2016. "International Tax Evasion, State Purchases of Confidential Bank Data and Voluntary Disclosures," FEMM Working Papers 160001, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    25. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 2010. "Wild Bootstrap Tests for IV Regression," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 128-144.
    26. Johannes Rincke & Christian Traxler, 2011. "Enforcement Spillovers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1224-1234, November.
    27. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    28. Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2014. "Tax Morale," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 149-168, Fall.
    29. Camilo García-Jimeno & Pinar Yildirim, 2017. "Matching Pennies on the Campaign Trail: An Empirical Study of Senate Elections and Media Coverage," NBER Working Papers 23198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Michael Jetter, 2017. "Mediated Terrorism: US News and Al-Qaeda Attacks," CESifo Working Paper Series 6804, CESifo Group Munich.
    31. Jimmy Chan & Wing Suen, 2008. "A Spatial Theory of News Consumption and Electoral Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 699-728.
    32. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
    33. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, January.
    34. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
    35. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2013. "Testing Enforcement Strategies In The Field: Threat, Moral Appeal And Social Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 634-660, June.
    36. Perez-Truglia, Ricardo & Troiano, Ugo, 2018. "Shaming tax delinquents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 120-137.
    37. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    39. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    40. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen, 2014. "How can Scandinavians tax so much?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66111, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    41. Eric Le Borgne, 2006. "Economic and Political Determinants of Tax Amnesties in the U.S. States," IMF Working Papers 06/222, International Monetary Fund.
    42. José Luis Montiel Olea & Carolin Pflueger, 2013. "A Robust Test for Weak Instruments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 358-369, July.
    43. deHaan, Ed & Shevlin, Terry & Thornock, Jacob, 2015. "Market (in)attention and the strategic scheduling and timing of earnings announcements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 36-55.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Avdiu, Besart & Gruhle, Tobias, 2018. "Contagion and Information Frictions in Emerging Markets: The Role of Joint Signals," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181570, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings," IZA Discussion Papers 11900, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Avdiu, Besart & Gruhle, Tobias, 2018. "Contagion and information frictions in emerging markets: the role of joint signals," MPRA Paper 84872, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    News coverage; Public trial; Self-denunciation; Tax evasion;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:155:y:2018:i:c:p:288-300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.