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Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game



Conventional models of tax compliance emphasize that taxpayers make strategic tax reports, underreporting income to the extent that this behavior is functionally rewarded. In contrast to this view, considerable empirical evidence suggests that many taxpayers are inherently honest, reporting truthfully regardless of the incentive to cheat. In this article we build a game-theoretic model of tax compliance that includes both honest and potentially dishonest taxpayers. We show that including honest taxpayers significantly alters the model, leading to much improved empirical predictions and somewhat different and novel policy implications.
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Suggested Citation

  • Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1993. "Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game," Carleton Economic Papers 93-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:93-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    tax evasion ; economic models;


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