IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Progressive Taxation and Tax Morale

  • Philipp Doerrenberg

    (CGS, University of Cologne)

  • Andreas Peichl

    (IZA, University of Cologne, ISER and CESifo)

As the link between tax compliance and tax morale is found to be robust, finding the determinants of tax morale can help to understand and fight tax evasion. In this paper we analyze the effect of progressive taxation on tax morale in a cross-country approach - which has not been investigated before. Our theoretical analysis leads to two testable predictions. First, an individual's tax morale is higher, the more progressive the tax schedule is. Second, the impact of tax progressivity on tax morale is declining in income. In our empirical analysis, we make use of a unique dataset of tax progressivity measures and follow most of the tax morale literature by employing the World Values Survey to measure tax morale. Controlling for a wide range of variables, we confirm both hypotheses in our empirical analysis.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences in its series Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series with number 01-06.

in new window

Date of creation: 14 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:01-06
Contact details of provider: Postal:
0221 / 470 5607

Phone: 0221 / 470 5607
Fax: 0221 / 470 5179
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Martin Halla, 2010. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," NRN working papers 2010-05, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3rd3f982, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  4. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-83, December.
  5. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2007. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0719, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Lucy F. Ackert & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2007. "Social Preferences And Tax Policy Design: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 487-501, 07.
  7. Heinemann, Friedrich & Hennighausen, Tanja, 2010. "Don't tax me? Determinants of individual attitudes toward progressive taxation," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner, 2007. "Causes and Consequences of Tax Morale: An Empirical Investigation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  10. McKinnish, Terra, 2007. "Welfare-induced migration at state borders: New evidence from micro-data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 437-450, April.
  11. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  12. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1899, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Torgler, Benno, 2006. "The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-109, September.
  15. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Konrad, Kai A. & Qari, Salmai, 2009. "The last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriotism and tax compliance
    [Die letzte Zuflucht eines Schurken? Patriotismus und Steuerehrlichkeit]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-04, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  17. Alesina, Alberto F & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Benno Torgler, 2004. "Tax Morale in Asian Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  19. Benno Torgler, 2005. "Tax morale in Latin America," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 133-157, January.
  20. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Arthur van Soest, 2008. "Measuring Inequity Aversion in a Heterogeneous Population Using Experimental Decisions and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 815-839, 07.
  21. 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.
  22. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  23. Heinemann, Friedrich & Kocher, Martin G., 2010. "Tax compliance under tax regime changes," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-020, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  24. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
  25. Brooks B. Hull, 2000. "Religion Still Matters," The Journal of Economics, Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 35-48.
  26. James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazque & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Russian attitudes toward paying taxes – before, during, and after the transition," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(12), pages 832-857, December.
  27. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  28. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2011. "On the identification of the “middle class”," Working Papers 217, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  29. Eckel, Catherine & Gintis, Herbert, 2010. "Blaming the messenger: Notes on the current state of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 109-119, January.
  30. Peter, Klara Sabirianova & Buttrick, Steve & Duncan, Denvil, 2009. "Global Reform of Personal Income Taxation, 1981-2005: Evidence from 189 Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  32. Cummings, Ronald G. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McKee, Michael & Torgler, Benno, 2009. "Tax morale affects tax compliance: Evidence from surveys and an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 447-457, June.
  33. Corneo, Giacomo & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2001. "Individual Preferences for Political Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  34. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
  35. Elffers, Henk & Weigel, Russell H. & Hessing, Dick J., 1987. "The consequences of different strategies for measuring tax evasion behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 311-337, September.
  36. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
  38. Shih-Ying Wu & Mei-Jane Teng, 2005. "Determinants of Tax Compliance - A Cross-Country Analysis," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 393-, November.
  39. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  40. Dell'Anno, Roberto, 2009. "Tax evasion, tax morale and policy maker's effectiveness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 988-997, December.
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:cgr:cgsser:01-06. 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: (David Kusterer)

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.