What Goes Around Comes Around? Experimental Evidence of the Effect of Rewards on Tax Compliance
The current experimental study examined the effect of monetary rewards on tax compliance. Eighty-six participants were randomly assigned to one control and two reward conditions (low vs. high reward). Overall, tax compliance was not affected by the rewards. However, a change in compliance strategies was observed. It seems that rewards provoked an all-or-nothing behavior. Whereas in the reward conditions, participants were either completely honest or evaded all of their income, in the control condition, the amount of evasion varied more strongly. Furthermore, audited compliant taxpayers who are rewarded evaded less in the following period compared with audited compliant taxpayers who experienced no rewards.
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