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Tax Morale in Latin America

  • Benno Torgler

    (University of Basel)

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    In the tax compliance literature, there is a lack of empirical evidence on the degree of tax morale in developing countries. As a novelty, this paper focuses thus on Latin America, analysing tax morale as a dependent variable and searching for factors that systematically affect tax morale, working with the two data sets Latinobarómetro and World Values Survey. Our findings indicate that there is a significant correlation between tax morale and the size of shadow economy. Furthermore, people who said they knew/have heard about practised tax avoidance have a significantly lower tax morale than others. Looking at individuals’ perception of reasons for tax evasion we found that the tax burden, lacking honesty, and corruption are seen as the main factors. We observed a significantly lower tax morale in South America/ Mexico than in the Central American/Caribbean area. Furthermore, trust in the president and the officials, the belief that other individuals obey the law and a pro democratic attitude have a significant positive effect on tax morale. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2003/03.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2003/03
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Peter-Merian-Weg 6, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel
    Web page: http://wwz.unibas.ch

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    1. Howell H. Zee & Vito Tanzi, 2000. "Tax Policy for Emerging Markets; Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/35, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Jean Hindriks, Michael Keen and Abhinay Muthoo, . "Corruption, Extortion and Evasion," Economics Discussion Papers 470, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    3. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale and Tax Evasion. Evidence from the United States," Working papers 2003/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    4. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0406, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Lipford, Jody & McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 1993. "Preaching matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 235-250, August.
    7. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
    8. Arindam Das-Gupta & Dilip Mookherjee, 1995. "Reforming Indian Income Tax Enforcement," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 52, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    9. Jain, Arvind K, 2001. " Corruption: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 71-121, February.
    10. 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.
    11. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2001. "Mexico: An Evaluation of the Main Features of the Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0112, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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