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Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence (2005)

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Abstract

There is considerable evidence that enforcement efforts can increase tax compliance. However, there must be other forces at work because observed compliance levels cannot be fully explained by the level of enforcement actions typical of most tax authorities. Further, there are observed differences, not related to enforcement effort, in the levels of compliance across countries and cultures. To fully understand differences in compliance behavior across cultures one needs to understand differences in tax administration and citizen attitudes toward governments. The working hypothesis is that cross-cultural differences in behavior have foundations in these institutions. Tax compliance is a complex behavioral issue and its investigation requires the use of a variety of methods and data sources. Results from laboratory experiments conducted in different countries demonstrate that observed differences in tax compliance levels can be explained by differences in the fairness of tax administration, in the perceived fiscal exchange, and in the overall attitude towards the respective governments. These experimental results are shown to be robust by replicating them for the same countries using survey response measures of “tax morale.”

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald G. Cummings & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Michael McKee & Benno Torgler, 2005. "Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence (2005)," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0516, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0516
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2017/09/ispwp-0516.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Grigorian & Hamid R Davoodi, 2007. "Tax Potential vs. Tax Effort; A Cross-Country Analysis of Armenia's Stubbornly Low Tax Collection," IMF Working Papers 07/106, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2008. "The Runaway Taxpayer or: Is Prior Tax Notice Effective against Scofflaws?," Working papers 01, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    3. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    4. Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr. & Violeta Piculescu, 2008. "Tax Toleration and Tax Compliance: How Government Affects the Propensity of Firms to Enter the Unofficial Economy," Discussion Papers 7_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    5. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "What Shapes Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes? Evidence from Multicultural European Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 443-470.
    6. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    7. Andrew Clark & Davis Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort and Comparison Income : Survey and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0601, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    8. Filippin, Antonio & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Viviano, Eliana, 2013. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax morale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 320-331.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2010. "Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 407-426, April.
    10. 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.
    11. Sandra Sookram & Patrick Kent Watson, 2008. "Small-Business Participation in the Informal Sector of an Emerging Economy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1531-1553.
    12. Battiston, Pietro & Gamba, Simona, 2016. "The impact of social pressure on tax compliance: A field experiment," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 78-85.
    13. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort and comparison income: Survey and experimental evidence," Working Papers halshs-00590552, HAL.
    14. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Klarita Gërxhani, 2011. "Financial Satisfaction and (in)formal Sector in a Transition Country," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 102(2), pages 315-331, June.
    15. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:354-366 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Lars P. Feld & Benno Torgler & Bin Ding, 2008. "Coming Closer? Tax Morale, Deterrence and Social Learning after German Unification," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 232, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, revised 16 Jun 2008.
    17. repec:tur:wpaper:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Daniel Ortega & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Don't Blame the Messenger: A Field Experiment on Delivery Methods for Increasing Tax Compliance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 91741, Inter-American Development Bank.
    19. Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2016. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 38-55.
    20. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    21. S. Sookram & P. K. Watson & F. Schneider, 2009. "Characteristics of households in the informal sector of an emerging economy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(27), pages 3545-3559.

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    Keywords

    Behavior; tax morale; tax compliance;

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