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Tax Evasion and emotions: An empirical test of re-integrative shaming theory

Author

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  • Giorgio Coricelli

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Elena Rusconi

    (Department of Security and Crime Science - UCL - University College of London [London])

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Shaming can be either of two types, shaming that becomes stigmatization of the offender and favors his exclusion from the community, or shaming that is followed by forgiveness and reintegration of the deviant. Here we test experimentally these aspects of shaming theory with a repeated tax-payment game, in which the shaming “ritual” consisted of displaying the evader’s picture in addition to charging monetary sanctions. Results show that when cheating is made public and the contravener is not successively reintegrated, the total amount of cheating is significantly increased compared to when cheating is made public but publicity is immediately followed by reintegration. The former condition is associated with more intense negative emotions related to cheating. This suggests that the employment of a social shaming mechanism may be an effective, albeit very sensitive, tool in the hands of policy makers.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Coricelli & Elena Rusconi & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Tax Evasion and emotions: An empirical test of re-integrative shaming theory," Post-Print halshs-00781057, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00781057
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00781057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Exclusion and reintegration in a social dilemna," Post-Print halshs-01662829, HAL.
    3. Korndörfer, Martin & Krumpal, Ivar & Schmukle, Stefan C., 2014. "Measuring and explaining tax evasion: Improving self-reports using the crosswise model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 18-32.
    4. Tor Eriksson & Lei Mao & Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Saving face and group identity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 622-647, September.
    5. Casal, Sandro & Mittone, Luigi, 2016. "Social esteem versus social stigma: The role of anonymity in an income reporting game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 55-66.
    6. Colin C. Williams, 2014. "Confronting the Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15370, June.
    7. Mascagni, Giulia, 2017. "From the Lab to the Field: A Review of Tax Experiments," Working Papers 13726, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    8. Christian Schitter & Jürgen Fleiß & Stefan Palan, 2017. "To claim or not to claim: Anonymity, reciprocal externalities and honesty," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-01, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    9. Arbex, Marcelo & Carré, Justin M. & Geniole, Shawn N. & Mattos, Enlinson, 2018. "Tax evasion, testosterone and personality traits," Textos para discussão 466, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    10. Mascagni, Giulia, 2016. "From the Lab to the Field: a Review of Tax Experiments," Working Papers 8967, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    11. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:27-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:bpd:articl:v:1:y:2018:i:1:jbpa.11.10 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bernd Irlenbusch & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "Behavioral ethics: how psychology influenced economics and how economics might inform psychology?," Post-Print halshs-01159696, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; moral emotions; shaming theory; cheating behavior; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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