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Endogenous Norm Formation Over the Life Cycle – The Case of Tax Evasion

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  • Nordblom, Katarina

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Zamac, Jovan

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper offers an explanation to why the general observation that elderly hold stronger moral attitudes than young ones may be an age rather than a cohort effect. We apply mechanisms from social psychology to explain how personal norms may evolve over the life cycle. We assume that people update their norms influenced by their own past behavior (e.g., cognitive dissonance) and/or by the attitudes of their peers (normative conformity). We apply the theory on actual norm distributions for young and old concerning tax evasion. Allowing for heterogeneous updating of norms where only those who identify with their network are actually conforming with it, while the others are only influenced by their own past behavior, we can explain the difference between young and old people’s moral values as an age effect through endogenous norm formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nordblom, Katarina & Zamac, Jovan, 2011. "Endogenous Norm Formation Over the Life Cycle – The Case of Tax Evasion," Working Paper Series 2011:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2011_013
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    Cited by:

    1. Pickhardt, Michael & Seibold, Goetz, 2014. "Income tax evasion dynamics: Evidence from an agent-based econophysics model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 147-160.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms; Endogenous norms; Tax evasion; Cognitive dissonance; Self-signaling; Normative conformity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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