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Local Autonomy, Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Friedrich Schneider
  • Christoph A. Schaltegger

Abstract

Policymakers often propose strict enforcement strategies to fight the shadow economy and to increase tax morale. However, there is also a bottom-up approach such as, for example, decentralizing the political power to those who are close to the problems. Thus, this paper analyses the relationship between local autonomy and tax morale or the size of the shadow economy. We use data on tax morale at the individual level and macro data of the size of the shadow economy to systematically analyse the relevance of local autonomy and compliance in Switzerland, a country where the degree of federalism varies across different cantons. The findings suggest that there is a positive (negative) relationship between local autonomy and tax morale (size of the shadow economy).

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2008. "Local Autonomy, Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2008-24
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    Cited by:

    1. Filippin, Antonio & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Viviano, Eliana, 2013. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax morale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 320-331.
    2. Désirée Teobaldelli & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "The influence of direct democracy on the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 543-567, December.
    3. Andreas Buehn & Christian Lessmann & Gunther Markwardt, 2013. "Decentralization and the shadow economy: Oates meets Allingham--Sandmo," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(18), pages 2567-2578, June.
    4. Quintano, Claudio & Mazzocchi, Paolo, 2013. "The shadow economy beyond European public governance," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 650-670.
    5. repec:zag:zirebs:v:20:y:2017:i:2:p:65-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:145-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Travis Wiseman, 2013. "US shadow economies: a state-level study," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 310-335, December.
    8. Alessandro Belmonte & Roberto Dell'Anno & Desiree Teobaldelli, 2016. "Tax Morale, Aversion to Ethnic Diversity, and Decentralization," Working Papers 07/2016, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Dec 2016.
    9. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
    10. Guglielmo Barone & Sauro Mocetti, 2011. "Tax morale and public spending inefficiency," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(6), pages 724-749, December.
    11. Petr Janský & Miroslav Palanský, 2016. "Fiscal decentralization and the shadow economy," WIDER Working Paper Series 172, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Garcia Alvarez-Coque, Jose-Maria & Lopez-Garcia Usach, T. & Sanchez Garcia, M., 2012. "Territory and innovation behaviour in agri-food firms: does rurality matter?," 126th Seminar, June 27-29, 2012, Capri, Italy 126030, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Schneider Friedrich, 2015. "Schwarzarbeit, Steuerhinterziehung und Korruption: Was ökonomische und nicht-ökonomische Faktoren zur Erklärung beitragen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 412-425, December.
    14. Feige, Edgar L., 2015. "Reflections on the meaning and measurement of Unobserved Economies: What do we really know about the “Shadow Economy”?," MPRA Paper 68466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Barbara Culiberg & Domen Bajde, 2014. "Do You Need a Receipt? Exploring Consumer Participation in Consumption Tax Evasion as an Ethical Dilemma," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 271-282, October.
    16. repec:ers:ijebaa:v:iv:y:2016:i:2:p:80-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Gillanders, Robert & Parviainen, Sinikka, 2015. "Corruption and the Shadow Economy at the Regional Level," MPRA Paper 64510, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Friedrich Schneider & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "Beyond the Veil of Ignorance: The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3749, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Bruno S. Frey, 2012. "Happiness and Public Policies: Fundamental Issues," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    20. Roberto Dell’Anno & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2015. "Keeping both corruption and the shadow economy in check: the role of decentralization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 1-40, February.
    21. Ann-Kathrin Koessler & Benno Torgler & Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2016. "Commitment to Pay Taxes: A Field Experiment on the Importance of Promise," CESifo Working Paper Series 6186, CESifo Group Munich.
    22. Misbah Kiani & Adeel Ahmed & Khalid Zaman, 2015. "Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches for measuring underground economy of Pakistan," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 295-317, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Morale; Shadow Economy; Tax Compliance; Tax Evasion; Local Autonomy; Federalism; Institution;

    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
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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