Prospect Theory and Tax Evasion: A Reconsideration of the Yitzhaki Puzzle
The standard expected utility model of tax evasion predicts that evasion is decreasing in the marginal tax rate (the Yitzhaki puzzle). The existing literature disagrees on whether prospect theory overturns the puzzle. We disentangle four distinct elements of prospect theory and find loss aversion and probability weighting to be redundant in respect of the puzzle. Prospect theory fails to reverse the puzzle for various classes of endogenous specification of the reference level. These classes include, as special cases, the most common specifications in the literature. New specifications of the reference level are needed, we conclude.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baldry, J. C., 1986. "Tax evasion is not a gamble : A report on two experiments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 333-335.
- Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
- Moshe Levy & Haim Levy, 2002. "Prospect Theory: Much Ado About Nothing?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1334-1349, October.
- Arthur Snow & Ronald S. Warren, 2005. "Ambiguity about Audit Probability, Tax Compliance, and Taxpayer Welfare," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 865-871, October.
- Bernasconi, Michele & Corazzini, Luca & Seri, Raffaello, 2014. "Reference dependent preferences, hedonic adaptation and tax evasion: Does the tax burden matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 103-118.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Nigar Hashimzade & Gareth D. Myles & Binh Tran-Nam, 2013. "Applications Of Behavioural Economics To Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 941-977, December.
- José Apesteguía & Miguel A. Ballester, 2004.
"A Theory Of Reference-Dependent Beavior,"
Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra
0402, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
- Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Angel Ballester, 2007. "A Theory of Reference-Dependent Behavior," Working Papers 323, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester, 2007. "A theory of reference-dependent behavior," Economics Working Papers 1056, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:41-71 is not listed on IDEAS
- Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
- Erling Eide, 2001. "Rank dependent expected utility models of tax evasion," ICER Working Papers 27-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
- Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2007.
"Why do people pay taxes? Prospect theory versus expected utility theory,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 171-192, September.
- Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2005. "Why Do People Pay Taxes? Prospect Theory Versus Expected Utility Theory," Discussion Papers in Economics 05/23, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Aug 2006.
- Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:41-71 is not listed on IDEAS
- Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
- Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2007.
"Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion,"
SOI - Working Papers
0705, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2007.
- Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2010. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1375-1412, 07.
- Dell'Anno, Roberto, 2009. "Tax evasion, tax morale and policy maker's effectiveness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 988-997, December.
- John A. List, 2003.
"Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
- John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
- Kobberling, Veronika & Wakker, Peter P., 2005. "An index of loss aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 119-131, May.
- Yaniv, Gideon, 1999. "Tax Compliance and Advance Tax Payments: A Prospect Theory Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 753-64, December.
- Robben, Henry S. J. & Webley, Paul & Weigel, Russell H. & Warneryd, Karl-Erik & Kinsey, Karyl A. & Hessing, Dick J. & Martin, Francisco Alvira & Elffers, Henk & Wahlund, Richard & Van Langenhove, Luk, 1990. "Decision frame and opportunity as determinants of tax cheating : An international experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 341-364, September.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:4:p:1133-1165 is not listed on IDEAS
- Michele Bernasconi & Alberto Zanardi, 2004. "Tax Evasion, Tax Rates, and Reference Dependence," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 422-, September.
- Kim, Youngse, 2003. "Income distribution and equilibrium multiplicity in a stigma-based model of tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1591-1616, August.
- Matthew D. Rablen, 2010. "Tax Evasion and Exchange Equity: A Reference-Dependent Approach," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(3), pages 282-305, May.
- Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1991. "An Econometric Analysis of Income Tax Evasion and its Detection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 14-35, Spring.
- Srinivasan, T. N., 1973. "Tax evasion: A model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-346.
- al-Nowaihi, Ali & Bradley, Ian & Dhami, Sanjit, 2008. "A note on the utility function under prospect theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 337-339, May.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
- Nicholas C. Barberis, 2013. "Thirty Years of Prospect Theory in Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 173-96, Winter.
- Gwenola Trotin, 2012. "Solving the Yitzhaki Paradox: Income Tax Evasion and Reference Dependence under Prospect Theory," Working Papers halshs-00793664, HAL.
- Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, 05.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
- Neilson, William S & Stowe, Jill, 2002. " A Further Examination of Cumulative Prospect Theory Parameterizations," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 31-46, January.
- Elffers, Henk & Hessing, Dick J., 1997. "Influencing the prospects of tax evasion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 289-304, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7760. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.