IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8137.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Tax Incidence in the Presence of Tax Evasion

Author

Listed:
  • Doerrenberg, Philipp

    () (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Duncan, Denvil

    () (Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of tax evasion on the economic incidence of sales taxes. We design a laboratory experiment in which buyers and sellers trade a fictitious good in double auction markets. A per-unit tax is imposed on sellers, and sellers in the treatment group are provided the opportunity to evade the tax whereas sellers in the control group are not. We find that the market equilibrium price in the treatment group is economically and statistically lower than in the control group. This result is consistent with a theoretical model in which access to evasion opportunities reduces the effective tax rate and therefore dampens real behavioral responses. Our findings suggest that the benefits of tax evasion are not limited to the side of the market with access to evasion but are partly shifted to the non-evading side of the market. We discuss the implications of our findings for the distributional and welfare effects of taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Tax Incidence in the Presence of Tax Evasion," IZA Discussion Papers 8137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8137
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8137.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Fuel tax incidence and supply conditions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1202-1212.
    2. Riedl, Arno & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2005. "Tax liability side equivalence in gift-exchange labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2369-2382, December.
    3. Blumkin, Tomer & Ruffle, Bradley J. & Ganun, Yosef, 2012. "Are income and consumption taxes ever really equivalent? Evidence from a real-effort experiment with real goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1200-1219.
    4. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2018. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages? Micro Evidence from Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 393-418, February.
    5. Alm, James & Cherry, Todd & Jones, Michael & McKee, Michael, 2010. "Taxpayer information assistance services and tax compliance behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 577-586, August.
    6. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Halla Martin, 2012. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, April.
    8. Marrelli, Massimo, 1984. "On indirect tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 181-196, November.
    9. Martin Dufwenberg & Tobias Lindqvist & Evan Moore, 2005. "Bubbles and Experience: An Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1731-1737, December.
    10. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Villeval, Marie-Claire, 2007. "Tax evasion and social interactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2089-2112, December.
    11. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
    12. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
    13. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.
    14. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Kuhn, Michael A., 2012. "Experimental methods: Between-subject and within-subject design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-8.
    15. Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Does It Matter Who Writes the Check to the Government? The Economics of Tax Remittance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(2), pages 251-275, June.
    16. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    17. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322-322.
    18. Alm, James & Cherry, Todd & Jones, Michael & McKee, Michael, 2010. "Taxpayer information assistance services and tax compliance behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 577-586, August.
    19. Rainald Borck & Dirk Engelmann & Wieland Müller & Hans-Theo Normann, 2002. "Tax Liability-Side Equivalence in Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 672-682, January.
    20. 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.
    21. Slemrod, Joel, 1995. "Income Creation or Income Shifting? Behavioral Responses to the Tax Reform Act of 1986," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 175-180, May.
    22. Emmanuel Saez & Manos Matsaganis & Panos Tsakloglou, 2012. "Earnings Determination and Taxes: Evidence From a Cohort-Based Payroll Tax Reform in Greece," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 493-533.
    23. Joel Slemrod & Caroline Weber, 2012. "Evidence of the invisible: toward a credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of tax evasion and the informal economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(1), pages 25-53, February.
    24. Alm, James & Sennoga, Edward B., 2010. "Mobility, Competition, and the Distributional Effects of Tax Evasion," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 63(4), pages 1055-1084, December.
    25. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto, 2013. "Redistribution and market efficiency: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 39-52.
    26. Johannes Abeler & Simon Jäger, 2013. "Complex Tax Incentives - An Experimental Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4231, CESifo Group Munich.
    27. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2013. "Progressive taxation and tax morale," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 293-316, June.
    28. Arno Riedl, 2010. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Do Inform Public Policy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(1), pages 65-95, March.
    29. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    30. Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
    31. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2000. "Theoretically robust but empirically invalid? An experimental investigation into tax equivalence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(3), pages 719-734.
    32. Amy Finkelstein, 2009. "E-ztax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 969-1010.
    33. Ruffle, Bradley J., 2005. "Tax and subsidy incidence equivalence theories: experimental evidence from competitive markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1519-1542, August.
    34. Wojciech Kopczuk & Justin Marion & Erich Muehlegger & Joel Slemrod, 2016. "Does Tax-Collection Invariance Hold? Evasion and the Pass-Through of State Diesel Taxes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 251-286, May.
    35. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    36. Borck, R. & Engelmann, D. & Müller, W. & Normann, H.T., 2002. "Tax liability side equivalence in an experimental posted offer market," Other publications TiSEM bac0e339-660b-4215-99d4-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    37. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    38. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Testing the Mill hypothesis of fiscal illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 39-68, January.
    39. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    40. James Alm & Edward Sennoga & Mark Skidmore, 2009. "Perfect Competition, Urbanization, And Tax Incidence In The Retail Gasoline Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 118-134, January.
    41. 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, May.
    42. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 2009. "Getting the word out: Enforcement information dissemination and compliance behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 392-402, April.
    43. Yaniv, Gideon, 1995. "A Note on the Tax-Evading Firm," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(1), pages 113-120, March.
    44. Quirmbach, Herman C. & Swenson, Charles W. & Vines, Cynthia C., 1996. "An experimental examination of general equilibrium tax incidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 337-358, September.
    45. Gallagher, Kelly Sims & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Giving green to get green? Incentives and consumer adoption of hybrid vehicle technology," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-15, January.
    46. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Is the EITC as Good as an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 177-208, February.
    47. Bayer, Ralph & Cowell, Frank, 2009. "Tax compliance and firms' strategic interdependence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1131-1143, December.
    48. James Alm, 2012. "Measuring, explaining, and controlling tax evasion: lessons from theory, experiments, and field studies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(1), pages 54-77, February.
    49. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio Montenegro, 2010. "New Estimates for the Shadow Economies all over the World," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 443-461.
    50. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-683, December.
    51. Gruber, Jonathan & Koszegi, Botond, 2004. "Tax incidence when individuals are time-inconsistent: the case of cigarette excise taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1959-1987, August.
    52. Yaniv, Gideon, 1995. "A Note on the Tax-Evading Firm," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 113-20, March.
    53. Armin Falk & Stephan Meier & Christian Zehnder, 2013. "Do Lab Experiments Misrepresent Social Preferences? The Case Of Self-Selected Student Samples," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 839-852, August.
    54. Quirmbach, Herman & Swenson, Charles & Vines, Cynthia, 1996. "An Experimental Examination of General Equilibrium Tax Incidence," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5204, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    55. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Soldatos, Gerasimos, 2014. "Indirect Tax Incidence under Inelastic Underground Economy Demand," MPRA Paper 64598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jacobsen, Catrine & Piovesan, Marco, 2016. "Tax me if you can: An artifactual field experiment on dishonesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 7-14.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    double auction; tax incidence; tax evasion;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8137. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.