IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/66118.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for tax compliance: evidence from a field experiment in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Dwenger, Nadja
  • Kleven, Henrik
  • Rasul, Imran
  • Rincke, Johannes

Abstract

We study extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for tax compliance in the context of a local church tax in Germany. This tax system has historically relied on zero deterrence so that any compliance at baseline is intrinsically motivated. Starting from this zero deterrence baseline, we implement a field experiment that incentivized compliance through deterrence or rewards. Using administrative records of taxes paid and true tax liabilities, we use these treatments to document that intrinsically motivated compliance is substantial, that a significant fraction of it may be driven by duty-to-comply preferences, and that there is no crowd-out between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.

Suggested Citation

  • Dwenger, Nadja & Kleven, Henrik & Rasul, Imran & Rincke, Johannes, 2016. "Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for tax compliance: evidence from a field experiment in Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66118, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:66118
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/66118/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2009. "Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Legal Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_31, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    4. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2013. "Testing Enforcement Strategies In The Field: Threat, Moral Appeal And Social Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 634-660, June.
    5. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence From a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(1), pages 125-138, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. C. Yiwei Zhang & Jeffrey Hemmeter & Judd B. Kessler & Robert D. Metcalfe & Robert Weathers, 2023. "Nudging Timely Wage Reporting: Field Experimental Evidence from the U.S. Supplemental Security Income Program," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 69(3), pages 1341-1353, March.
    2. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2022. "Tax Morale and the Role of Social Norms and Reciprocity - Evidence from a Randomized Survey Experiment," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 78(1-2), pages 44-86.
    3. Uddin, Main & Wang, Liang Choon & Smyth, Russell, 2021. "Do government-initiated energy comparison sites encourage consumer search and lower prices? Evidence from an online randomized controlled experiment in Australia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 167-182.
    4. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja M. & Sinning, Mathias, 2018. "Behavioral insights on business taxation: Evidence from two natural field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 30-49.
    5. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja & Sinning, Mathias, 2017. "Behavioral insights and business taxation: Evidence from two randomized controlled trials," Ruhr Economic Papers 698, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Dur, Robert & Fleming, Dimitry & van Garderen, Marten & van Lent, Max, 2021. "A social norm nudge to save more: A field experiment at a retail bank," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    7. repec:idq:ictduk:13726 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Musharraf Rasool Cyan & Antonios M. Koumpias & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2016. "The Effects of Media Campaigns on Individual Attitudes towards Tax Compliance; Quasi-experimental Evidence from Survey Data in Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1609, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    9. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Clément Imbert & Johannes Spinnewijn & Teodora Tsankova & Maarten Luts, 2021. "How to Improve Tax Compliance? Evidence from Population-Wide Experiments in Belgium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(5), pages 1425-1463.
    10. Dina Pomeranz & José Vila-Belda, 2019. "Taking State-Capacity Research to the Field: Insights from Collaborations with Tax Authorities," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 755-781, August.
    11. Kristina M. Bott & Alexander W. Cappelen & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2020. "You’ve Got Mail: A Randomized Field Experiment on Tax Evasion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(7), pages 2801-2819, July.
    12. Hallsworth, Michael & List, John A. & Metcalfe, Robert D. & Vlaev, Ivo, 2017. "The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 14-31.
    13. Dimant, Eugen & van Kleef, Gerben A. & Shalvi, Shaul, 2020. "Requiem for a Nudge: Framing effects in nudging honesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 247-266.
    14. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    15. Nikolaos Artavanis & Adair Morse & Margarita Tsoutsoura, 2015. "Tax Evasion across Industries: Soft Credit Evidence from Greece," NBER Working Papers 21552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. James Alm & Lilith Burgstaller & Arrita Domi & Amanda März & Matthias Kasper, 2023. "Nudges, Boosts, and Sludge: Using New Behavioral Approaches to Improve Tax Compliance," Economies, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-22, September.
    17. Belnap, Andrew & Welsch, Anthony & Williams, Braden, 2023. "Remote tax authority," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2).
    18. Sanne R. Van Duin & Henri C. Dekker & Jacco L. Wielhouwer & Juan P. Mendoza, 2018. "The Tone from Above: The Effect of Communicating a Supportive Regulatory Strategy on Reporting Quality," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 467-519, May.
    19. Marcelo Bergolo & Rodrigo Ceni & Guillermo Cruces & Matias Giaccobasso & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2023. "Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 110-153, February.
    20. Saulitis, Andris & Chapkovski, Philipp, 2023. "Investigating Tax Compliance with Mixed-Methods Approach: The Effect of Normative Appeals Among the Firms in Latvia," MPRA Paper 116560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. James Alm & Laura Rosales Cifuentes & Carlos Mauricio Ortiz Niño & Diana Rocha, 2019. "Can Behavioral “Nudges” Improve Compliance? The Case of Colombia Social Protection Contributions," Games, MDPI, vol. 10(4), pages 1-23, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax compliance; intrinsic motivation; extrinsic motivation; filed experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:66118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: LSERO Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.