IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The effect of tax enforcement on tax morale

  • Antonio Filippin


    (University of Milan)

  • Carlo V. Fiorio


    (University of Milan)

  • Eliana Viviano


    (Bank of Italy)

In this paper we argue that tax enforcement is an additional contextual factor affecting tax morale, one of the most important determinants of tax compliance. By using a unique dataset that merges a representative sample of Italian households with administrative data on tax enforcement, we find first that tax morale is positively correlated with tax enforcement. Second, to deal with possible endogeneity of tax enforcement, we show that results are confirmed in an IV specification using the change in the tax gap at the provincial level as an instrument for tax enforcement. Finally, we provide evidence that the impact of tax enforcement and social environment is stronger at low quantiles of tax morale. Our results show that apart from lowering the expected value of tax evasion, tax enforcement has an additional and indirect effect on tax compliance through its effect on tax morale.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 937.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_937_13
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2008. "Local Autonomy, Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Christian Traxler & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Survey Evidence on Conditional Norm Enforcement," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  3. Cummings, Ronald G. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McKee, Michael & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt8sh2w9fp, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  4. Orviska, Marta & Hudson, John, 2003. "Tax evasion, civic duty and the law abiding citizen," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 83-102, March.
  5. Carlo Fiorio & Alberto Zanardi, 2007. ""It's a lot but let it stay" How tax evasion is perceived across Italy," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1048, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  6. 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.
  7. Halla, Martin, 2010. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," IZA Discussion Papers 4918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Sebastian Kube & Christian Traxler, 2011. "The Interaction of Legal and Social Norm Enforcement," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 639-660, October.
  9. Guglielmo Barone & Sauro Mocetti, 2009. "Tax morale and public spending inefficiency," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 732, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, . "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," IEW - Working Papers 098, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Cullis, John & Jones, Philip & Soliman, Amal, 2012. "‘Spite effects’ in tax evasion experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 418-423.
  12. Jana Friedrichsen & Dirk Engelmann, 2013. "Who Cares for Social Image? Interactions between Intrinsic Motivation and Social Image Concerns," CESifo Working Paper Series 4514, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, 05.
  14. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  15. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  16. Roberto Galbiati & Giulio Zanella, 2012. "The tax evasion social multiplier: Evidence from Italy," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2jbidihgpo8, Sciences Po.
  17. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
  18. Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
  19. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  20. Werner Güth & Vittoria Levati & Rupert Saugruber, 2005. "Tax morale and (de-)centralization: An experimental study," Public Economics 0511014, EconWPA.
  21. Lubian, Diego & Zarri, Luca, 2011. "Happiness and Tax Morale: an Empirical Analysis," AICCON Working Papers 85-2011, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  22. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.
  23. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Maria Jose Sanzo-Perez & Javier Suarez-Pandiello, 2005. "Análisis económico de la actitud hacia el fraude fiscal en España," Public Economics 0502005, EconWPA.
  26. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  27. Kim, Youngse, 2003. "Income distribution and equilibrium multiplicity in a stigma-based model of tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1591-1616, August.
  28. Gordon, James P. P., 1989. "Individual morality and reputation costs as deterrents to tax evasion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 797-805, April.
  29. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
  30. Weng, Qian, 2013. "Session Size and its Effect on Identity Building: Evidence from a public goods experiment," Working Papers in Economics 560, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_937_13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.