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Does Culture Matter? Tax Morale in East-West-German Comparison

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  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

This paper provides a comparison of tax morale between inhabitants of East and West Germany after its post-reunification period, using World Value Survey data for the years 1990 and 1997. The setting of the German reunification is particularly interesting for the analysis of tax morale in that it is close to being a natural experiment. For the years 1990 and 1997 our findings show higher tax morale in East Germany than in West Germany. However, tax morale in the east seems to erode over time. Around three-quarters of the east-west differential disappeared in just seven years. Adherence to social norms as practiced in the GDR provides a key explanation of why tax morale is higher in the East.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler, 2002. "Does Culture Matter? Tax Morale in East-West-German Comparison," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(4), pages 504-504, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(2002/200312)59:4_504:dcmtmi_2.0.tx_2-4
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9306-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2012. "Conspicuous Consumption and Communism: Evidence from East and West Germany," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201203, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    3. Jorge Martinz-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2005. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-33, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Juan Prieto Rodríguez & María José Sanzo Pérez & Javier Suárez Pandiello, 2006. "Economic analysis of attitudes towards fiscal fraud in Spain”," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 177(2), pages 107-128, April.
    5. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2006. "Tax Morale: A Survey with a Special Focus on Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(III), pages 395-425, September.
    6. Benno Torgler & Neven Valev, 2006. "Corruption and Age," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 133-145, August.
    7. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    8. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2017. "Gambling to leapfrog in status?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1291-1319, December.
    9. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Taxation," Working Papers 2004/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. 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).
    11. Torgler, Benno & Valev, Neven T, 2006. "Public Attitudes toward Corruption and Tax Evasion: Investigating the role of gender over time," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3983136n, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    12. Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Maria Jose Sanzo-Perez & Javier Suarez-Pandiello, 2005. "Análisis económico de la actitud hacia el fraude fiscal en España," Public Economics 0502005, EconWPA.
    13. Benno Torgler & Jan Werner, 2005. "Tax Morale and Fiscal Autonomy: Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 03-2005, Institute of Local Public Finance.
    14. Sven Stöwhase, 2011. "Non-minimization of source taxes on labor income: empirical evidence from Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 293-306, June.
    15. Gerxhani, Klarita & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Tax evasion and income source: A comparative experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 402-422, June.
    16. Stöwhase, Sven, 2009. "Pareto-Inefficiencies in Intrahousehold-Decision-Making: Empirical evidence from Germany," MPRA Paper 13131, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
    18. Benno Torgler & James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes – Before, During, and After the Transition (2005)," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0518, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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