IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Sticks and Carrots

  • Frank A Cowell

The tax-payer-as-gambler (TAG) model of tax non-compliance is the classic vehicle for providing some simple insights. Under fairly general conditions this model supports the following four propositions: (1) if the rate of return to evasion is positive everyone evades tax; (2) people with higher risk-aversion tend to evade less; (3) people with higher personal income tend to evade more; (4) increasing any of the standard tax-enforcement parameters (the probability of audit, the proportional surcharge on evaded tax and the tax rate) will reduce the amount of concealed income. Not all of these TAG model predictions seem intuitively reasonable, nor are they all borne out by empirical evidence.There are three principal intellectual routes for a more satisfactory approach:(a)A re-examination of the underlying model of taxpayer motivation. This encompasses relaxation of the expected-utility assumption, introduction of time into the modeling framework and an extension of the range of arguments of the utility function.(b)A revision of the model of interaction between the taxpayer and the tax authority. This allows the introduction of an explicit strategic interaction encapsulated in the auditing relationship. Neither the models with precommitment or those without precommitment fully capture the relevant features of the noncompliance problem. Both neglect the problem of "ghosts".(c)The role of the modeling of firms. This route is relatively neglected in the theoretical and empirical literature. An elementary treatment of the problem suggests that it has potential as an exploratory tool and as a guide to policy makers.

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: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/darp/darp68.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers with number 68.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:stidar:68
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
  2. Schepanski, A. & Shearer, T., 1995. "A Prospect Theory Account of the Income Tax Withholding Phenomenon," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 174-186, August.
  3. Chang, Otto H. & Nichols, Donald R. & Schultz, Joseph J., 1987. "Taxpayer attitudes toward tax audit risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 299-309, September.
  4. Andreoni, James, 1992. "IRS as loan shark tax compliance with borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 35-46, October.
  5. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
  6. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
  7. Graetz, Michael J & Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
  8. Cowell, F.A., 1989. "Honesty is sometimes the best policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 605-617, March.
  9. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Fullerton, Don & Karayannis, Marios, 1994. "Tax evasion and the allocation of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 257-278, October.
  11. Spicer, Michael W. & Thomas, J. Everett, 1982. "Audit probabilities and the tax evasion decision: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 241-245, September.
  12. Poterba, James M, 1987. "Tax Evasion and Capital Gains Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 234-39, May.
  13. Wang, Leonard F.S. & Conant, John L., 1988. "Corporate Tax Evasion and Output Decisions of the Uncertain Monopolist," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 579-81, December.
  14. Marrelli, Massimo, 1984. "On indirect tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 181-196, November.
  15. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & James R. Hines, Jr., 1999. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 6903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robin Boadway & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2000. "Tax Evasion and Trust," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 104, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  17. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  18. Crane, Steven E & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1986. "Inflation and Tax Evasion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 217-23, May.
  19. Robben, Henry S. J. & Webley, Paul & Weigel, Russell H. & Warneryd, Karl-Erik & Kinsey, Karyl A. & Hessing, Dick J. & Martin, Francisco Alvira & Elffers, Henk & Wahlund, Richard & Van Langenhove, Luk, 1990. "Decision frame and opportunity as determinants of tax cheating : An international experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 341-364, September.
  20. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
  21. Greenberg, Joseph, 1984. "Avoiding tax avoidance: A (repeated) game-theoretic approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, February.
  22. 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.
  23. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  24. Virmani, Arvind, 1989. "Indirect tax evasion and production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-237, July.
  25. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
  26. Landsman, Wayne R. & Shackelford, Douglas A. & Yetman, Robert J., 2002. "The determinants of capital gains tax compliance: evidence from the RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 47-74, April.
  27. Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-83.
  28. Yaniv, Gideon, 1995. "A Note on the Tax-Evading Firm," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 113-20, March.
  29. Sharmila King & Steven Sheffrin, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Equity Theory: An Investigative Approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 505-521, August.
  30. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2000. "The Optimality of Punishing Only the Innocent: The Case of Tax Evasion," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(6), pages 641-664, December.
  31. Marrelli, M. & Martina, R., 1988. "Tax evasion and strategic behaviour of the firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 55-69, October.
  32. Cowell,Frank & Gordon,James, 1987. "Unwillingness to pay: Tax evasion and public good provision," Discussion Paper Serie A 142, University of Bonn, Germany.
  33. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1973. "A note on optimum tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-270, July.
  34. Cowell, Frank A., 1985. "Tax evasion with labour income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, February.
  35. Bernasconi, Michele, 1998. "Tax evasion and orders of risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 123-134, January.
  36. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
  37. Baldry, Jonathan C., 1979. "Tax evasion and labour supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 53-56.
  38. Erard, Brian & Ho, Chih-Chin, 2001. "Searching for ghosts: who are the nonfilers and how much tax do they owe?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 25-50, July.
  39. Pencavel, John H., 1979. "A note on income tax evasion, labor supply, and nonlinear tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 115-124, August.
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:cep:stidar:68. 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.