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Taxpayers' Attitudes toward Risk and Amnesty Participation: Economic Analysis and Evidence for the Italian Case

  • Marchese, Carla
  • Privileggi, Fabio

This paper provides a simple model, based on expected utility theory, for rationalizing taxpayer's reaction to an unexpected amnesty offer. The model is estimated through a deterministic approach, with reference to data pertaining to the 1991 and 1994 Italian tax amnesties. Results seem sound and suggest that standard critiques to the use of expected utility theory for describing taxpayer behavior do not apply when participation in amnesties is considered. However, the model fails in explaining the behavior of full compliers (who refuse the amnesty). Their behavior can be better rationalized by resorting to the expected utility with rank dependent probability approach.

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Article provided by in its journal Public Finance = Finances publiques.

Volume (Year): 52 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 394-410

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Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:52:y:1997:i:3-4:p:394-410
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  1. Weber, Warren E, 1970. "The Effect of Interest Rates on Aggregate Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 591-600, September.
  2. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cassone, Alberto & Marchese, Carla, 1995. "Tax Amnesties as Special Sales Offers: The Italian Experience," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 50(1), pages 51-66.
  4. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
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  7. Epstein, Larry G. & Zin, Stanley E., 1990. "'First-order' risk aversion and the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 387-407, December.
  8. Wayne E. Ferson & George M. Constantinides, 1991. "Habit Persistence and Durability in Aggregate Consumption: Empirical Tests," NBER Working Papers 3631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernasconi, Michele, 1998. "Tax evasion and orders of risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 123-134, January.
  10. Wolf, Charles & Pohlman, Larry, 1983. "The Recovery of Risk Preferences from Actual Choices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 843-50, May.
  11. Schram, Arthur, 2000. " Sorting Out the Seeking: The Economics of Individual Motivations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 231-58, June.
  12. Siegel, Frederick W & Hoban, James P, Jr, 1982. "Relative Risk Aversion Revisited," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 481-87, August.
  13. Szpiro, George G, 1986. "Measuring Risk Aversion: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 156-59, February.
  14. Chu, C. Y. Cyrus, 1990. "Plea bargaining with the irs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 319-333, April.
  15. Loehman, Edna, 1998. "Testing risk aversion and nonexpected utility theories," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 285-302, January.
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