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Moral suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland

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  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

With data gained from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland this paper analyses the effects of moral suasion on the timely paying and the timely filling out of the tax form 2001. Comparisons of different tax filing years and multiple regression estimations have been done using these two factors as dependent variables to check if there is a significant difference between the control group and the treatment group. In February 2002 the treatment group received a letter signed by the commune’s fiscal commissioner containing normative appeals. Results indicate that moral suasion has hardly any effect on taxpayers’ compliance behaviour. The strongest effect can be observed for the variable tax payments. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler, 2004. "Moral suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 235-253, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:5:y:2004:i:3:p:235-253
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-004-0077-7
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "The Hidden Costs of Tax Evasion - Collaborative Tax Evasion in Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2014-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Coricelli, Giorgio & Joffily, Mateus & Montmarquette, Claude & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," IZA Discussion Papers 3103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Andris Saulitis, 2016. "Is it all about money? Field experiment with the defaulted in a debt-collector enterprise," Natural Field Experiments 00567, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Romaniuc Rustam, 2016. "What Makes Law to Change Behavior? An Experimental Study," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 447-475, July.
    5. Balafoutas, Loukas & Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2015. "The hidden costs of tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 14-25.
    6. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2005. "Tax Morale and Fiscal Policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-30, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    7. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Evasion in Switzerland: The Roles of Deterrence and Tax Morale," IEW - Working Papers 284, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. Litina, Anastasia & Palivos, Theodore, 2016. "Corruption, tax evasion and social values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 164-177.
    9. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    10. repec:exl:22evid:v:2017:y:2017:i:1:p:- is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Rewarding Honest Taxpayers? Evidence on the Impact of Rewards from Field Experiments," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. Ross Adriana M. & McGee Robert W., 2011. "Attitudes toward Tax Evasion: A Demographic Study of Malaysia," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-51, October.
    13. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Illegal, Immoral, Fattening or What?: How Deterrence and Responsive Regulation Shape Tax Morale," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200426, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    14. Philipp Doerrenberg & Jan Schmitz, 2017. "Tax compliance and information provision. A field experiment with small firms," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(1), pages 47-54, February.
    15. repec:kap:jbuset:v:148:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3031-z is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Giulia Mascagni, 2018. "From The Lab To The Field: A Review Of Tax Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 273-301, April.
    17. repec:eee:soceco:v:70:y:2017:i:c:p:10-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Anastasia Litina & Theodore Palivos, 2015. "Corruption and Tax Evasion: Reflections on Greek Tragedy," Working Papers 193, Bank of Greece.
    19. Donna Bobek & Amy Hageman & Charles Kelliher, 2013. "Analyzing the Role of Social Norms in Tax Compliance Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 451-468, July.
    20. Gangl, Katharina & Torgler, Benno & Kirchler, Erich & Hofmann, Eva, 2014. "Effects of supervision on tax compliance: Evidence from a field experiment in Austria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 378-382.
    21. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja & Sinning, Mathias, 2017. "Behavioral insights and business taxation: Evidence from two randomized controlled trials," Ruhr Economic Papers 698, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    22. Boris Maciejovsky & Herbert Schwarzenberger & Erich Kirchler, 2012. "Rationality Versus Emotions: The Case of Tax Ethics and Compliance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 339-350, September.
    23. Brown, Zachary, 2016. "Voluntary programs to encourage compliance with refuge regulations for pesticide resistance management: results from a quasi-experiment," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 237333, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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