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Individual, cognitive and cultural differences in tax compliance: UK and Italy compared

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  • Lewis, Alan
  • Carrera, Sonia
  • Cullis, John
  • Jones, Philip

Abstract

Five hundred and five Italian psychology and economics students took part in a tax compliance study testing the influence of detection rates (within subjects) and the between subjects variables of framing effects, instructions to behave instrumentally or not, degree choice and gender. The sample was an improvement on a previous study conducted in the UK where the effects of gender and degree choice were entangled. The results from the Italian sample showed highly significant effects for detection rates, framing effects, gender and degree choice. Participants declared more as detection rates rose and when tax was framed as a gain. Males and economists declared the least. The instruction to maximise income (instrumentality) encouraged psychologists to declare less, while economists behaved instrumentally whether they were asked to or not. The influence of culture was examined by comparing the two data sets. Although the tax systems of these two countries are very similar, tax evasion is much more common in Italy. As anticipated Italian students declared less than UK students and the results for the Italian sample were more pronounced (e.g. the significant framing effect) but otherwise all are in the same direction. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as the prospects for future empirical studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis, Alan & Carrera, Sonia & Cullis, John & Jones, Philip, 2009. "Individual, cognitive and cultural differences in tax compliance: UK and Italy compared," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 431-445, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:3:p:431-445
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Welfare Fraud, and the « Broken Windows » Effect : An Experiment in Belgium, France and the Netherlands," Working Papers 1116, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    2. Barile, L., 2012. "The Impact of Governmental Signals on Environmental Morale:a 'behavioural' approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 32984, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
    3. Leder, Susanne & Mannetti, Lucia & Hölzl, Erik & Kirchler, Erich, 2010. "Regulatory fit effects on perceived fiscal exchange and tax compliance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 271-277, April.
    4. Lewis, Alan & Bardis, Alexander & Flint, Chloe & Mason, Claire & Smith, Natalya & Tickle, Charlotte & Zinser, Jennifer, 2012. "Drawing the line somewhere: An experimental study of moral compromise," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 718-725.
    5. Kastlunger, Barbara & Lozza, Edoardo & Kirchler, Erich & Schabmann, Alfred, 2013. "Powerful authorities and trusting citizens: The Slippery Slope Framework and tax compliance in Italy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-45.
    6. Stefania Ottone & Ferruccio Ponzano & Giulia Andrighetto, 2015. "Tax Compliance Under Different Institutional Settings in the EU: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 307, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2015.
    7. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Les attitudes sont-elles différentes face à la fraude fiscale et à la fraude sociale ?," Post-Print halshs-00724736, HAL.
    8. Kastlunger, Barbara & Dressler, Stefan G. & Kirchler, Erich & Mittone, Luigi & Voracek, Martin, 2010. "Sex differences in tax compliance: Differentiating between demographic sex, gender-role orientation, and prenatal masculinization (2D:4D)," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 542-552, August.
    9. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie Villeval, 2015. "Tax evasion and social information: an experiment in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 401-425, June.
    10. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:55-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mauro Marè & Antonello Motroni & Francesco Porcelli, 2015. "Family Ties and Underground Economy," Working papers 16, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    12. Stefura Gabriela, 2012. "The Role of Opportunity, Taxpayers’ Perceptions and Demographic Differences in Tax Compliance Analysis," Annals - Economic and Administrative Series -, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 6(1), pages 163-177, December.
    13. Korndörfer, Martin & Krumpal, Ivar & Schmukle, Stefan C., 2014. "Measuring and explaining tax evasion: Improving self-reports using the crosswise model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 18-32.

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