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Tax Compliance and Rank-Dependent Expected Utility

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  • Jean-Louis ARCAND

    ()

  • Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

Abstract

In this paper, we show that considering the classic Allingham and Sandmo (1972) tax compliance problem under Rank-Dependent Expected Utility (RDEU) axiomatics provides a simple explanation for the "excess" level of full compliance observed in empirical studies, and which standard Expected Utility (EU) axiomatics are unable to explain. RDEU axiomatics provide a compelling answer to this puzzle, without the need for the moral sentiments or stigma arguments that have recently been advanced in the literature. Formally, we show that the threshold audit probability at which full compliance becomes optimal for the consumer is significantly lower under RDEU axiomatics than in the EU case. We also show that the comparative statics of tax-evasion with respect to changes in the tax rate or in income are "weaker" than under EU axiomatics. We conclude by presenting numerical simulations using several different parameterizations of the probability weighting function that have been proposed in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Louis ARCAND & Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI, 2004. "Tax Compliance and Rank-Dependent Expected Utility," Working Papers 200403, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hashimzade, Nigar & Myles, Gareth D. & Page, Frank & Rablen, Matthew D., 2014. "Social networks and occupational choice: The endogenous formation of attitudes and beliefs about tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 134-146.
    2. Hashimzade, Nigar & Myles, Gareth D. & Rablen, Matthew D., 2016. "Predictive analytics and the targeting of audits," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 130-145.
    3. Philipp Meyer-Brauns, 2014. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Audit Perceptions," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-06, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    4. Francesco Busato & Francesco Giuli, 2014. "Tax evasion and Prospect Theory in a OLG economy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0196, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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