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Tax Morale, Tax Compliance and the Optimal Tax Policy

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  • Gaetano Lisi

    () (Creativity and Motivations (CreaM) Economic Research Centre)

Abstract

Following the behavioural branch of tax compliance literature, this paper tries to incorporate tax morale into the optimal taxation theory. We show that tax morale affects the optimal mix of policy tools of deterrence to clamp down tax evasion. The optimal tax policy in fact differs according to the type of tax payer taken into account. Precisely, in the case of honest taxpayers the optimal strategy from a social welfare standpoint is to substitute a higher taxation/penalty with tighter monitoring; whereas, in the case of tax evaders, the policy maker should enforce both a higher penalty and an increased monitoring

Suggested Citation

  • Gaetano Lisi, 2013. "Tax Morale, Tax Compliance and the Optimal Tax Policy," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0313, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
  • Handle: RePEc:dbe:wpaper:0313
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, March.
    2. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
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    4. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    5. Halla Martin, 2012. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, April.
    6. Benno Torgler, 2007. "Tax Compliance and Tax Morale," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 4096.
    7. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    8. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2005. "Tax Morale and Fiscal Policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-30, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    9. Werner Gueth & Rupert Sausgruber, 2004. "Tax Morale and Optimal Taxation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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    13. Hartner , Martina & Rechberger, Silvia & Kirchler, Erich & Schabmann, Alfred, 2008. "Procedural Fairness and Tax Compliance," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 137-152, March.
    14. Bird, Richard M. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Torgler, Benno, 2008. "Tax Effort in Developing Countries and High Income Countries: The Impact of Corruption, Voice and Accountability," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 55-71, March.
    15. Gaetano Lisi, 2012. "Macroeconomic implications of the dynamics between power and trust: a theoretical formalisation of the ‘slippery slope’ framework," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_21, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; tax compliance; tax morale; taxation; monitoring JEL;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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