IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Referendums, trust, and tax evasion

  • Hug, Simon
  • Spörri, Franziska
Registered author(s):

    Countries engaged in transitions from Communist rule to democracy and market economies face a considerable challenge to foster tax morale and to reduce tax evasion. Tax evasion, however, severely limits the capacities of these reformed states, which reduces in a vicious circle the citizens' incentives to pay taxes. The question then arises how this vicious circle may be broken. Several authors suggest that political institutions may do the trick. Based on insights that institutions allowing a direct say on policy issues (especially tax questions) may increase tax morale, we propose to study comparatively how the link between trust and tax morale is affected by these institutions. We find that allowing for referendums strengthens the link between trust and tax morale, but that this effect depends on the nature of the institutions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 120-131

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:120-131
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Kiewiet, D Roderick & Szakaly, Kristin, 1996. "Constitutional Limitations on Borrowing: An Analysis of State Bonded Indebtedness," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 62-97, April.
    2. Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
    3. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Evasion in Switzerland: The Roles of Deterrence and Tax Morale," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
    6. Pommerehne, Werner W & Hart, Albert & Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Choice of Policy Instruments in Different Political Systems," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 52-69.
    7. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, 07.
    8. Micahael Tomz & Jason Wittenberg & Gary King, . "Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(i01).
    9. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale in Transition Countries," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 357-381.
    10. Josef C. Brada, 1996. "Privatization Is Transition--Or Is It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 67-86, Spring.
    11. Steunenberg, Bernard, 1992. "Referendum, Initiative, and Veto Power: Budgetary Decision Making in Local Government," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 501-29.
    12. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
    13. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
    14. Pommerehne, Werner W. & Frey, Bruno S., 1992. "The effects of tax administration on tax morale," Discussion Papers, Series II 191, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    15. Torgler, Benno, 2003. "To evade taxes or not to evade: that is the question," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 283-302, July.
    16. Schneider, Friedrich, 2002. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 22 Transition and 21 OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Matsusaka, John G., 2004. "For the Many or the Few," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226510811, June.
    19. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    20. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    21. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
    22. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:120-131. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.