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Taxes and Benefits: Two Distinct Options to Cheat on the State?

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  • Halla, Martin

    () (University of Linz)

  • Schneider, Friedrich

    () (University of Linz)

Abstract

While there is an extensive literature on tax evasion a further aspect of cheating on the state, namely benefit fraud, has gained relatively modest attention in the economic literature. This paper seeks to fill this gap. We explore differences between benefit fraud and tax evasion due to differing social norms. We define the concepts of benefit morale and tax morale as the motivation to abstain from cheating on the state via these two offenses. Our multilevel analysis, based on a large micro data set of respondents from 29 OECD member countries, shows that benefit morale and tax morale have different determinants at an individual-level and respond differently to fiscal policy measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Halla, Martin & Schneider, Friedrich, 2008. "Taxes and Benefits: Two Distinct Options to Cheat on the State?," IZA Discussion Papers 3536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3536
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Work in OECD Countries," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Amedeo Piolatto, 2015. "Itemised Deductions: A Device to Reduce Tax Evasion," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(4), pages 422-438, November.
    3. Schneider, Friedrich, 2006. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: What Do We Really Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 2315, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, May.
    5. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Welfare Fraud, and the « Broken Windows » Effect : An Experiment in Belgium, France and the Netherlands," Working Papers 1116, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Heinemann Friedrich, 2010. "Ansatzpunkte einer Gewissensökonomik / Approaches to the economics of consciense," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 61(1), pages 151-168, January.
    7. Gabriele Ruiu & Gaetano Lisi, 2011. "Tax Morale, Slippery-Slope Framework and Tax Compliance: A Cross-section Analysis," Working Papers 2011-05, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
    8. Martin Halla, 2011. "The Link between the Intrinsic Motivation to Comply and Compliance Behaviour: A Critical Appraisal of Existing Evidence," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Friedrich Heinemann, 2008. "Is the Welfare State Self-Destructive? A Study of Government Benefit Morale," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 237-257, May.
    10. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1542-1565, April.
    11. Mughal, Khurrum & Schneider, Friedrich & Hayat, Zafar, 2018. "Shadow Economy in Pakistan: Its Size and Interaction with Official Economy," MPRA Paper 87812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Fischer, Justina A. V. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Social Captial and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt8sv0k59c, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    13. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.
    14. Benno Torgler & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2006. "Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Working Papers 2006.38, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Giorgio Coricelli & Mateus Joffily & Claude Montmarquette & Marie Villeval, 2010. "Cheating, emotions, and rationality: an experiment on tax evasion," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(2), pages 226-247, June.
    16. Schneider Friedrich, 2010. "The Influence of Public Institutions on the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation for OECD Countries," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 441-468, December.
    17. Daniel Arnold, 2013. "Benefit Morale and Cross-Country Diversity in Sick Pay Entitlements," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 27-45, February.
    18. Friedrich Heinemann, 2011. "Economic crisis and morale," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 35-49, August.
    19. Martin Halla & Mario Lackner & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of the Welfare State: the Case of Benefit Morale," CESifo Working Paper Series 2641, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Schneider Friedrich, 2015. "Schwarzarbeit, Steuerhinterziehung und Korruption: Was ökonomische und nicht-ökonomische Faktoren zur Erklärung beitragen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 412-425, December.
    21. Lefebvre Mathieu & Pestieau Pierre & Riedl Arno & Villeval Marie Claire, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Welfare Fraud, and “the Broken Windows†Effect: An Experiment in Belgium, France and the Netherlands," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    22. Mughal, Khurrum & Schneider, Friedrich, 2018. "Shadow Economy in Pakistan: Its Size and Interaction with Official Economy," MPRA Paper 87087, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Fischer, Justina A.V. & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position," Economic Theory and Applications Working Papers 12177, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    24. Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Size and Development of the Shadow Economy in Germany, Austria and Other oecd-Countries. Some Preliminary Findings," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(5), pages 1079-1116.
    25. Baumann, Florian & Brändle, Tobias, 2012. "Self-employment, educational attainment and employment protection legislation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 846-859.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax morale; multilevel analysis; welfare fraud; benefit fraud; tax evasion; tax; social norms; subsidies; benefit morale;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values

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