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Fiscal Autonomy and Tax Morale: Evidence from Germany

  • Benno Torgler
  • Jan Werner

This paper analyses fiscal autonomy in Germany. First, it provides an overview of fiscal autonomy. What is novel in this paper compared to previous studies is the development of a fiscal autonomy coefficient for the states, based on communal data. The basic intention in the empirical part is to analyse how fiscal autonomy affects tax morale, defined as the intrinsic motivation to pay taxes, in Germany. Strong evidence has been found that a higher fiscal autonomy leads to a higher tax morale, controlling in a multivariate analysis for additional factors. Thus, this paper fills a gap in the tax compliance literature, which has rarely analysed the impact of fiscal autonomy on compliance

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2005-07.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2005-07
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  1. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1608, The World Bank.
  3. Friedland, Nehemiah & Maital, Shlomo & Rutenberg, Aryeh, 1978. "A simulation study of income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 107-116, August.
  4. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
  5. Joulfaian, David & Rider, Mark, 1996. "Tax Evasion in the Presence of Negative Income Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 553-70, December.
  6. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9901, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-71.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Direct Democracy: Designing a Living Constitution," IEW - Working Papers 167, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  10. Alm, James & Cronshaw, Mark B & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Tax Compliance with Endogenous Audit Selection Rules," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 27-45.
  11. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  12. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  13. Seitz, Helmut, 2000. "Fiscal Policy, Deficits and Politics of Subnational Governments: The Case of the German Laender," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 183-218, March.
  14. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Wilde, Louis L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Federal Income Tax Auditing and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 61-74, March.
  15. Spahn, Paul Bernd & Franz, Oliver, 2000. "Zwischenstaatliche Kooperation und die Reform des Finanzausgleichs in Deutschland," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 80(12), pages 713-721.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. repec:idb:brikps:62118 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Paul Bernd Spahn & Jan Werner, 2007. "Germany at the Junction Between Solidarity and Subsidiarity," Chapters, in: Fiscal Fragmentation in Decentralized Countries, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  20. Feld, Lars P, 2000. "Tax Competition and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 125-64, October.
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