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Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan

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  • Jan Schnellenbach

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Abstract

An explanation for tax morale based upon a simple model of psychological costs that depend on the perceived legitimacy of public policies is introduced. It is shown that empirically observed low levels of tax evasion can be explained even for a risk-neutral taxpayer with such a model. In a discussion of aggregate tax revenue, it is argued that tax revenue as a function of tax rates may differ fundamentally from the notorious Laffer curve. It is then necessary to look at the interaction of formal and informal institutions to predict the nominal tax rates chosen by a revenue maximizer. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:17:y:2006:i:2:p:117-132
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-006-0001-y
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-006-0001-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes ? Before, During, and After the Transition," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-27, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. Jan Schnellenbach, 2005. "Learning from Decentralised Policy: The Demand Side," JEPS Working Papers 05-001, JEPS.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. 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".
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohd Amran Mahat & Lai Ming Ling, 2011. "Featuring Tax Education in Non-accounting Curriculum: Survey Evidence," EconStor Conference Papers 56066, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    2. Frode Brevik & Manfred Gärtner, 2008. "Can tax evasion tame Leviathan governments?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 103-122, July.
    3. Roberto Dell’Anno, 2010. "Institutions and human development in the Latin American informal economy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 207-230, September.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Tax Morale after the Reunification of Germany: Results from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    6. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Shadow Economy," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Lars P. Feld & Benno Torgler & Bin Dong, 2008. "Coming Closer? Tax Morale, Deterrence and Social Learning after German Unification," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Alison Macintyre, 2007. "Tax Compliance, Tax Morale And Governance Quality," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 225, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    9. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; Tax morale; Cognitive dissonance; Informal institutions; H26; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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