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Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust


  • Hammar, Henrik
  • Jagers, Sverker C.
  • Nordblom, Katarina


Using Swedish individual survey data, we analyze the perception of tax evasion in terms of ten different taxes. We find large variation across taxes, highlighting the importance of studying different taxes separately rather than treating tax evasion as one common phenomenon. We focus on the importance of trust in taxpayers and in politicians. Those who do not trust their fellow citizens are more likely to believe that they are evading taxes, but distrust in politicians has an even greater effect, especially for redistributive and fiscally motivated taxes. Hence, it is important for politicians to be perceived as trustworthy in order to be able to collect taxes for maintaining the welfare state.

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  • Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-245, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:2:p:238-245

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sørensen, Jens Fyhn Lykke, 2011. "Undeclared work: A dark side of social trust?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 888-894.
    2. Ingrid Wahl & Stephan Muehlbacher & Erich Kirchler, 2010. "The Impact of Voting on Tax Payments," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 144-158, February.
    3. Gaetano Lisi, 2012. "Macroeconomic implications of the dynamics between power and trust: a theoretical formalisation of the ‘slippery slope’ framework," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_21, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    4. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2014. "Leaders as Role Models for the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 8580, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Trust in government and its effect on preferences for income redistribution and perceived tax burden," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 71-100, February.
    6. Kogler, Christoph & Batrancea, Larissa & Nichita, Anca & Pantya, Jozsef & Belianin, Alexis & Kirchler, Erich, 2013. "Trust and power as determinants of tax compliance: Testing the assumptions of the slippery slope framework in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 169-180.
    7. Çule, Monika & Fulton, Murray, 2009. "Business culture and tax evasion: Why corruption and the unofficial economy can persist," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 811-822, December.
    8. Jaanika Merikull & Tairi Room & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "Perceptions of unreported economic activities in Baltic Firms. Individualistic and non-individualistic motives," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2012-8, Bank of Estonia, revised 04 Feb 2013.
    9. Kaplanoglou, Georgia & Rapanos, Vassilis T., 2015. "Why do people evade taxes? New experimental evidence from Greece," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 21-32.
    10. Niklas Harring & Sverker C. Jagers, 2013. "Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
    11. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Shadow Economy," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Norm for redistribution, social capital, and perceived tax burden: comparison between highand low-income households," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 6(2).
    13. Cãtãlina Cozmei, 2012. "Playing The Fiscal Lottery Game," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 6(1), pages 511-521, November.
    14. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    15. Cullis, John & Jones, Philip & Soliman, Amal, 2012. "‘Spite effects’ in tax evasion experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 418-423.
    16. Mohammad Abd Alaffo AlAdham & Mohammed Abdallah Abukhadijeh & Mohammad Fayez Qasem, 2016. "Tax Evasion and Tax Awareness Evidence from Jordan," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(12), pages 65-75, December.


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