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You’ve got mail: A randomised Field experiment on tax evasion

Author

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  • Bott, Kristina Maria

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

We report from a large-scale randomized field experiment conducted on a unique sample of more than 15 000 taxpayers in Norway, who were likely to have misreported their foreign income. We find that the inclusion of a moral appeal or a sentence that increases the perceived probability of detection in a letter from the tax authorities almost doubled the average self-reported foreign income. The moral letter mainly works on the intensive margin, while the detection letter mainly works on the extensive margin. We also show that the detection letter has large long-term effects on tax compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Bott, Kristina Maria & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2017. "You’ve got mail: A randomised Field experiment on tax evasion," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2017, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2017_010
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/2451187
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Elena Kantorowicz‐Reznichenko & Jaroslaw Kantorowicz, 2021. "To follow or not to follow the herd? Transparency and social norm nudges," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(3), pages 362-377, August.
    3. Jacquemet, N. & Luchini, S. & Malézieux, A. & Shogren, J.F., 2020. "Who’ll stop lying under oath? Empirical evidence from tax evasion games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    4. Miguel Almunia & Jarkko Harju & Kaisa Kotakorpi & Janne Tukiainen & Jouko Verho, 2019. "Expanding access to administrative data: the case of tax authorities in Finland and the UK," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(3), pages 661-676, June.
    5. Antinyan, Armenak & Asatryan, Zareh, 2019. "Nudging for tax compliance: A meta-analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-055, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Tsikas, Stefanos A. & Wagener, Andreas, 2018. "Bringing Tax Avoiders to Light: Moral Framing and Shaming in a Public Goods Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-633, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; tax evasion; field Experiment.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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