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Enforcement Spillovers


  • Johannes Rincke

    (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg)

  • Christian Traxler

    (University of Marburg and Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)


This paper identifies spillovers from law enforcement. Our approach makes use of microdata on compliance with TV license fees that allow us to distinguish between households that were subject to enforcement and those that were not. Using snowfall as an instrument for local inspections, we find a striking response of households to increased enforcement in their vicinity: on average, three detections make one additional household comply with the law. As compliance rises significantly among those who had no exposure to field inspections, our findings establish a sizable externality in enforcement. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Rincke & Christian Traxler, 2011. "Enforcement Spillovers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1224-1234, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:4:p:1224-1234

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    Cited by:

    1. Cagala, Tobias & Glogowsky, Ulrich & Rincke, Johannes, 2014. "A field experiment on intertemporal enforcement spillovers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 171-174.
    2. Paetzold, Jörg & Winner, Hannes, 2016. "Taking the high road? Compliance with commuter tax allowances and the role of evasion spillovers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 1-14.
    3. Lang, Matthias & Wambach, Achim, 2013. "The fog of fraud – Mitigating fraud by strategic ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 255-275.
    4. Galletta, Sergio, 2017. "Law enforcement, municipal budgets and spillover effects: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Italy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 90-105.
    5. Pierre C. Boyer & Nadja Dwenger & Johannes Rincke, 2014. "Do Taxes Crowd Out Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-23, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. Frimmel, Wolfgang & Halla, Martin & Paetzold, Jörg, 2017. "The Intergenerational Causal Effect of Tax Evasion: Evidence from the Commuter Tax Allowance in Austria," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168244, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Berger, Melissa & Fellner-Röhling, Gerlinde & Sausgruber, Rupert & Traxler, Christian, 2016. "Higher taxes, more evasion? Evidence from border differentials in TV license fees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 74-86.
    8. Galbiati, Roberto & Zanella, Giulio, 2012. "The tax evasion social multiplier: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 485-494.
    9. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Vlahu, Razvan, 2013. "Strategic loan defaults and coordination: An experimental analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 747-760.
    10. Gider, Jasmin, 2014. "Do SEC Detections Deter Insider Trading? Evidence from Earnings Announcements," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100343, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Drago, Francesco & Mengel, Friederike & Traxler, Christian, 2015. "Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Robert Dur & Ben Vollaard, 2013. "Salience of Law Enforcement: A Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-007/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Pietro Battiston & Denvil Duncan & Simona Gamba & Alessandro Santoro, 2016. "The Italian Blitz: a natural experiment on audit publicity and tax compliance," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-10, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    14. Boyer, Pierre C. & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2016. "Do norms on contribution behavior affect intrinsic motivation? Field-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 140-153.
    15. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2015. "The political economics of redistribution, inequality and tax avoidance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 267-287, June.
    16. Mary F. Evans & Scott M. Gilpatric & Jay P. Shimshack, 2015. "Enforcement spillovers: Lessons from strategic interactions in regulation and product markets," Working Papers 2015-08, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    17. Dina Pomeranz, 2015. "No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2539-2569, August.

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