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Dubious Versus Trustworthy Faces - What Difference Does it Make for Tax Compliance?

Author

Listed:
  • Kai A. Konrad
  • Tim Lohse
  • Salmai Qari

Abstract

We find experimental evidence that the decision problem of tax compliance changes if subjects’ declarations are not randomly assessed, but is based on their appearance as captured by pictures of their faces, even if the aggregate audit probability does not change. Some subjects may fear that their picture looks rather dubious whereas others may believe that their picture looks more trustworthy than average. Depending on these beliefs, they may adjust their compliance decisions. Our experimental design allows to disentangle these potentially countervailing effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2013. "Dubious Versus Trustworthy Faces - What Difference Does it Make for Tax Compliance?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4373, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4373
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4373.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Konrad, Kai A. & Lohse, Tim & Qari, Salmai, 2011. "Customs compliance and the power of imagination," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-108, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:709-725_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Giorgio Coricelli & Mateus Joffily & Claude Montmarquette & Marie Villeval, 2010. "Cheating, emotions, and rationality: an experiment on tax evasion," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(2), pages 226-247, June.
    4. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
    5. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    6. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan, 2010. "Discrimination in the lab: Does information trump appearance?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 50-59, January.
    7. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
    9. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Konrad, Kai A. & Lohse, Tim & Qari, Salmai, 2014. "Deception choice and self-selection – The importance of being earnest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 25-39.
    2. Lohse, Tim & Konrad, Kai A. & Qari, Salmai, 2014. "Deception Choice and Audit Design - The Importance of Being Earnest," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100577, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compliance; tax evasion; face picture; audit probability;

    JEL classification:

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

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