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Does Culture Influence Tax Morale? Evidence from Different European Countries


  • Benno Torgler
  • Friedrich Schneider


There is considerable evidence that enforcement efforts cannot fully explain the high degree of tax compliance. Previous studies have found differences in compliance behaviour across cultures. Novel in this paper is to investigate the impact of culture differences within a country rather than between countries. Thus, the main purpose of the paper is to see how culture affects tax morale, using World Values Survey (WVS) and European Values Survey (EVS) data. The empirical findings focus individually on Switzerland, Belgium and Spain, countries with a certain cultural variety. In general, the results indicate that the cultural background seems not to have a strong effect on tax morale within a country. However, there is evidence that there is a strong interaction between culture and institutions, which has a strong impact on tax morale.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Does Culture Influence Tax Morale? Evidence from Different European Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2004-17

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    Cited by:

    1. Kogler, Christoph & Batrancea, Larissa & Nichita, Anca & Pantya, Jozsef & Belianin, Alexis & Kirchler, Erich, 2013. "Trust and power as determinants of tax compliance: Testing the assumptions of the slippery slope framework in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 169-180.
    2. Juan Molero & Francesc Pujol, 2012. "Walking Inside the Potential Tax Evader’s Mind: Tax Morale Does Matter," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 151-162, January.
    3. Gerxhani, Klarita & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Tax evasion and income source: A comparative experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 402-422, June.
    4. Kastlunger, Barbara & Dressler, Stefan G. & Kirchler, Erich & Mittone, Luigi & Voracek, Martin, 2010. "Sex differences in tax compliance: Differentiating between demographic sex, gender-role orientation, and prenatal masculinization (2D:4D)," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 542-552, August.
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2007. "Direkte Demokratie, Steuermoral und Steuerhinterziehung: Erfahrungen aus der Schweiz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 38-64, January.

    More about this item


    Tax Morale; Tax Compliance; Tax Evasion; Culture;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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