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Tax evasion and state productivity – An experimental study

  • Werner Güth
  • Sabine Strauß
  • Matthias Sutter

In an overlapping generations-experiment with multiple families participants can either support their parents directly and thereby reduce their tax burden or hope for tax-financed old age support. State productivity is captured by the factor with which total tax revenues are multiplied to determine old age support. This factor is systematically varied from 0.75 to 1.25. Tax payments depend in declared endowment. Tax evasion is possible, but monitored. Surprisingly state productivity influences neither direct support of own parents nor tax evasion. The main effect is that rich endowment triggers relatively low support of own parents and high (and more frequent) tax evasion.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2002-37.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-37
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  1. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
  3. Güth, W. & Sutter, M. & Verbon, H.A.A. & Weck-Hannemann, H., 2001. "Family Versus Public Solidarity : Theory and Experiment," Discussion Paper 2001-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  5. Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris, 2001. "Tax compliance within the context of gain and loss situations, expected and current asset position, and profession," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 173-194, April.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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