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An Economic Model of Tax Compliance with Individual Morality and Group Conformity

  • Laura Sour


Scholars in public finance traditionally have analyzed tax compliance using the Allighman-Sandmo model. I include in this model both moral and social payoffs for compliance. This approach can explain four pieces of evidence that have not been explained by the traditional model, namely i) high level of tax compliance; ii) honest responses when individuals pay their taxes, even in the presence of high incentives for tax evasion; iii) the level of evasion increases with the tax rate; and iv) individuals are more likely to evade when they realize that there is a large number of evaders in society.

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Article provided by in its journal Economia Mexicana NUEVA EPOCA.

Volume (Year): XIII (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January-June)
Pages: 43-61

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Handle: RePEc:emc:ecomex:v:13:y:2004:i:1:p:43-61
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  1. Frey, Bruno S, 1992. "Tertium Datur: Pricing, Regulating and Intrinsic Motivation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 161-84.
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  5. Spicer, M W & Lundstedt, S B, 1976. "Understanding Tax Evasion," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 31(2), pages 295-305.
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  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
  9. Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1993. "Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game," Carleton Economic Papers 93-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
  10. Geeroms, Hans J A & Wilmots, Hendrik, 1985. "An Empirical Model of Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 40(2), pages 190-209.
  11. Slemrod, Joel B, 1985. "An Empirical Test for Tax Evasion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 232-38, May.
  12. Pencavel, John H., 1979. "A note on income tax evasion, labor supply, and nonlinear tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 115-124, August.
  13. Crane, Steven E & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1986. "Inflation and Tax Evasion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 217-23, May.
  14. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
  15. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  16. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
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