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Tax evasion and social information: an experiment in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands

Author

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  • Lefebvre Mathieu

    (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Arno Riedl

    (CESifo - CESifo, IZA - IZA, Netspar, The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics - Maastricht University [Maastricht])

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    (IZA - IZA, GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon - Saint-Etienne - ENS de Lyon - École normale supérieure de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We experimentally study how receiving information about tax compliance of others affects individuals' occupational choices and subsequent evading decisions. In one treatment individuals receive information about the highest tax evasion rates of others in past experimental sessions with no such social information; in another treatment they receive information about the lowest tax evasion rates observed in the past sessions with no such social information. We observe an asymmetric effect of social information on tax compliance. Whereas examples of high compliance do not have any disciplining effect, we find evidence that examples of low compliance significantly increase tax evasion for certain audit probabilities. No major differences are found across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefebvre Mathieu & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "Tax evasion and social information: an experiment in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands," Post-Print halshs-01155326, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01155326
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-014-9318-z
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01155326
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; Social interactions; Peer effects; Cross-country comparisons; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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