A Meta-Analysis of Tax Compliance Experiments
Since 1978, economists, psychologists, sociologists and accountants have used experiments to investigate the determinants of tax compliance. In this paper the author attempts to synthesize this literature in a meta-analysis to draw conclusions regarding the determinants of tax compliance. Specifically, the author examines the impacts of traditional economic determinants of tax compliance: the tax rate, the penalty rate, and the probability of audit. In addition the author examines the effect of a public good “return” to taxes paid. The author finds strong evidence that increasing the penalty rate, the probability of audit and the marginal-percapita return to the public good lead to higher compliance, but finds no statistically significant effect of the tax rate on compliance.
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