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Old George Orwell Got it Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics

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  • Joel Slemrod

Abstract

It is entirely appropriate that the study of public finance take seriously "behavioral" inconsistencies with traditional models of individual and collective decision-making. This raises the question of whether the state should play a role in protecting individuals from themselves, and whether individuals are susceptible to manipulation, or even exploitation, by the people who comprise the state. In this essay I address one aspect of this issue – how it affects an economic analysis of tax systems. In addressing this task I ask, and offer some tentative answers to, what is distinctive about behavioral tax economics as a sub-field of behavioral economics and as a sub-field of tax economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Slemrod, 2009. "Old George Orwell Got it Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 2777, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2777
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    Cited by:

    1. Arno Riedl, 2009. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Can Inform Public Policy: Some Thoughts," CESifo Working Paper Series 2902, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2017. "Altruistic and selfish motivations of charitable giving:Case of the hometown tax donation system in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 1003, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    3. Axel Möhlmann, 2014. "Persistence or Convergence? The East-West Tax-Morale Gap in Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(1), pages 3-30, March.
    4. Kay Blaufus & Jonathan Bob & Jochen Hundsdoerfer & Christian Sielaff & Dirk Kiesewetter & Joachim Weimann, 2015. "Perception of income tax rates: evidence from Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 457-478, December.
    5. Benny Geys & Kai A. Konrad, 2016. "Patriotism and Taxation," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-11, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. Roberto Dell'Anno & Vincenzo Maria De Rosa, 2013. "The Relevance of the Theory of Fiscal Illusion. The Case of the Italian Tax System," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 63-92.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    complexity; compliance;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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