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Media negativity bias and tax compliance: Experimental evidence

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  • Fisar, Milos
  • Reggiani, Tommaso

    (Cardiff Business School)

  • Sabatini, Fabio
  • Spalek, Jir

Abstract

We study the impact of the media negativity bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action affects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are signicantly more compliant than the control group. Instead, the exposure to negative news does not prompt any significant reaction compared to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants may perceive the media negativity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news provision is a constant source of psychological priming and plays a vital role in taxpayers' compliance decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fisar, Milos & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio & Spalek, Jir, 2021. "Media negativity bias and tax compliance: Experimental evidence," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2021/26, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2021/26
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax compliance; media bias; taxation game; laboratory experiment.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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