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Causes and Consequences of Tax Morale: An Empirical Investigation

  • Benno Torgler
  • Markus Schaffner

Many taxpayers truthfully declare their income to the tax administration. Why? In this paper we have found a significant correlation between tax morale and tax evasion, controlling a variety of factors. Furthermore we have analysed tax morale as dependent variable and studied the determinants that shape it. The results indicate that factors such as the tax administration, tax system, tax awareness, compliance perceptions, trust in officials and others, and the willingness to obey have a relatively strong impact on tax morale.

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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 2007-11.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2007-11
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  1. 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.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 286, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Erard, Brian, 1997. "Self-selection with measurement errors A microeconometric analysis of the decision to seek tax assistance and its implications for tax compliance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 319-356, December.
  4. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Institutional Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1018-26, September.
  5. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
  6. Joel Slemrod, 2002. "Trust in Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 9187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Paldam, Martin & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2000. "Missing social capital and the transition in Eastern Europe," Working Papers 00-5, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Sheffrin, S.M. & Triest, R.K., 1991. "Can Brute Deterrence Backfire? Perceptions and Attitudes in Taxpayer Compliance," Papers 373, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  9. Kate Krause, 2000. "Tax Complexity: Problem or Opportunity?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 28(5), pages 395-414, September.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Luigi Bosco & Luigi Mittone, 1994. "Tax evasion and moral constraints: some experimental evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 9402, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  13. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, . "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," IEW - Working Papers 098, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Lindenberg, Siegwart, 2001. "Intrinsic Motivation in a New Light," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 317-42.
  15. Spicer, M W & Lundstedt, S B, 1976. "Understanding Tax Evasion," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 31(2), pages 295-305.
  16. Bruno Frey & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Informal and underground economy," Economics working papers 2000-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  17. Forest, Adam & Sheffrin, Steven M., 2002. "Complexity and Compliance: An Empirical Investigation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 75-88, March.
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