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Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis

  • Benno Torgler

    ()

  • Friedrich Schneider

People mostly pay their taxes although there is a low probability of getting caught and being penalized. Thus, new attempts in the tax compliance literature try to go beyond standard economic theory. This paper examines citizens? attitudes toward paying taxes ? what is sometimes termed their ?tax morale?, or the intrinsic motivation to pay taxes. Tax morale may be a key determinant to explain why people are honest. However, there are very few papers that explore the concept of tax morale theoretically and empirically. This study, based on the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey, therefore attempts to fill this gap in the literature, focusing on tax morale in Austria. Societal institutions such as trust or pride have been identified as key determinants that shape tax morale in Austria. Furthermore, a lower perceived compliance leads to a decrease of tax morale, which indicates that social comparisons are relevant. The results also show a decrease of tax morale between 1990 and 1999, although Austria?s taxpayers still have a very high tax morale compared to other European countries.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10663-004-8328-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirica.

Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 231-250

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Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:32:y:2005:i:2:p:231-250
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  1. Schneider, Friedrich & Klinglmair, Robert, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What Do We Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 1043, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale in Latin America," Working papers 2003/03, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. Frey, Bruno S. & Meier, Stephan, 2004. "Pro-social behavior in a natural setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-88, May.
  4. Naci Mocan, 2004. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 10460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Benno Torgler & Neven T. Valev, 2004. "Corruption and Age," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2002. "Tax Morale, Leviathan and the Political Process: A Theoretical Approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 163, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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