IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/mhr/finarc/urnsici0015-2218(201003)661_15ogogib_2.0.tx_2-h.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Joel Slemrod

Abstract

It is entirely appropriate that the study of public finance take seriously 'behavioral' inconsistencies with traditional models of individual and collective decision-making. This raises the question of whether the state should play a role in protecting individuals from themselves, and whether individuals are susceptible to manipulation, or even exploitation, by the people who comprise the state. In this essay I two aspects of this issue - tax complexity and tax compliance. In addressing these issues I ask, and offer some tentative answers to, what is distinctive about behavioral tax economics as a sub-field of behavioral economics and as a sub-field of tax economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Slemrod, 2010. "Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(1), pages 15-33, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201003)66:1_15:ogogib_2.0.tx_2-h
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X503361
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mohr/fa/2010/00000066/00000001/art00002
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access is included for subscribers to the printed version.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Blumkin, Tomer & Ruffle, Bradley J. & Ganun, Yosef, 2012. "Are income and consumption taxes ever really equivalent? Evidence from a real-effort experiment with real goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1200-1219.
    3. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    4. Slemrod, Joel, 2006. "The Role of Misconceptions in Support for Regressive Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(1), pages 57-75, March.
    5. Kai Konrad, 2008. "Mobile tax base as a global common," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 395-414, August.
    6. Scotchmer, Suzanne & Slemrod, Joel, 1989. "Randomness in tax enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 17-32, February.
    7. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
    8. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    9. Eduardo Engel & James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 47, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    10. Sung Won Kang & Hugh Rockoff, 2006. "Capitalizing Patriotism: The Liberty Loans of World War I," NBER Working Papers 11919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Krishna, Aradhna & Slemrod, Joel, 2003. "Behavioral Public Finance: Tax Design As Price Presentation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(2), pages 189-203, March.
    12. Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Does It Matter Who Writes the Check to the Government? The Economics of Tax Remittance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 251-275, June.
    13. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    14. Kai A. Konrad & Salmai Qari, 2012. "The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel? Patriotism and Tax Compliance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(315), pages 516-533, July.
    15. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance With Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-114, March.
    16. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540.
    17. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March.
    18. Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2004. "Quality of Government Services and the Civic Duty to Pay Taxes in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and other Transition Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 237-252, May.
    19. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
    20. Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "E-ZTax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 12924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    22. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Testing the Mill hypothesis of fiscal illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 39-68, January.
    23. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
    24. Kirchler,Erich, 2007. "The Economic Psychology of Tax Behaviour," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521876742, May.
    25. McCaffery, Edward J. & Baron, Jonathan, 2003. "The Humpty Dumpty blues: Disaggregation bias in the evaluation of tax systems," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 230-242, July.
    26. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    27. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
    28. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
    29. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
    30. Luke Garrod, 2008. "Price Transparency and Consumer Naivety in a Competitive Market," Working Papers 07-10, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
    31. Alm, James & Jacobson, Sarah, 2007. "Using Laboratory Experimentsin Public Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(1), pages 129-152, March.
    32. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
    33. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
    34. Céline Azémar & Gregory Corcos, 2009. "Multinational Firms' Heterogeneity in Tax Responsiveness: The Role of Transfer Pricing," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9), pages 1291-1318, September.
    35. Benno Torgler, 2004. "Moral Suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    36. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1992. "Tax Evasion and the Structure of Indirect Taxes and Audit Probabilities," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 47(Supplemen), pages 351-365.
    37. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence From a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(1), pages 125-138, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2017. "Altruistic and selfish motivations of charitable giving:Case of the hometown tax donation system in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 1003, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Axel Möhlmann, 2014. "Persistence or Convergence? The East-West Tax-Morale Gap in Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(1), pages 3-30, March.
    3. Kay Blaufus & Jonathan Bob & Jochen Hundsdoerfer & Christian Sielaff & Dirk Kiesewetter & Joachim Weimann, 2015. "Perception of income tax rates: evidence from Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 457-478, December.
    4. Roberto Dell'Anno & Vincenzo Maria De Rosa, 2013. "The Relevance of the Theory of Fiscal Illusion. The Case of the Italian Tax System," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 63-92.
    5. Arno Riedl, 2009. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Can Inform Public Policy: Some Thoughts," CESifo Working Paper Series 2902, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Benny Geys & Kai A. Konrad, 2016. "Patriotism and Taxation," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-11, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    complexity; compliance;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201003)66:1_15:ogogib_2.0.tx_2-h. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Wolpert). General contact details of provider: https://www.mohr.de/fa .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.