IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jku/econwp/2005_05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Abstract

Economists have studied many aspects of tax evasion. The vast literature has concentrated on the individual taxpayer’s decision on avoiding taxes by underreporting income. However no comprehensive investigation of the individual taxpayer’s decision on claiming unjustified subsidies (e. g. by underreporting income) exists so far. Employing Austrian survey data we show that the basic attitude towards avoiding taxes (tax morale) and claiming unjustified subsidies (benefit morale) have different determinants. Our applied econometric framework relaxes the often stated assumption of the exogeneity of income as an explaining variable of tax morale. Furthermore we find empirical evidence that tax morale and benefit morale have different impact on actual behavior: Whereas a low benefit morale leads indeed to unjustified claims on benefits and therefore to higher income, we find no statistically significant effect of tax morale on tax evasion. These different determinants and effects of tax morale and benefit morale can be explained by differences in the deterrence factors from the traditional economic approach, by alternative theories or simply by more opportunities to cheat on the state by unjustified subsidies in contrast to avoiding taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Halla & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2005. "Taxes and Benefits: Two Distinct Options to Cheat on the State?," Economics working papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2005_05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2005/wp0505.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Benno Torgler, 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.
    3. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    7. Buchanan, James M., 1976. "Taxation in fiscal exchange," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 17-29.
    8. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
    9. James Alm & Gary H. McClelland & William D. Schulze, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-171, May.
    10. 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.
    11. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance With Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 45(1), pages 107-114, March.
    12. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-170, July.
    13. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
    14. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Wilde, Louis L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Federal Income Tax Auditing and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 61-74, March.
    15. Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Does Competition Destroy Ethical Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 414-418, May.
    16. Lars P. Feld & Jean‐Robert Tyran, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-221, May.
    17. Crane, Steven E & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1986. "Inflation and Tax Evasion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 217-223, May.
    18. James Alm & Isabel Sanchez & Ana DE Juan, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 1-18, February.
    19. 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.
    20. Östling Robert, 2009. "Economic Influences on Moral Values," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-26, January.
    21. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Understanding welfare stigma: Taxpayer resentment and statistical discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 165-183, July.
    22. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
    23. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    24. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    25. Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 370-377, May.
    26. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
    27. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470, Elsevier.
    28. Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal, 2012. "Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling Using Stata, 3rd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number mimus2, March.
    29. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    30. Benno Torgler, 2005. "Tax morale in Latin America," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 133-157, January.
    31. repec:hhs:iuiwop:476 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-373, August.
    33. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2165-2214 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214, Elsevier.
    35. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
    36. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    37. Yaniv, Gideon, 1986. "Fraudulent collection of unemployment benefits : A theoretical analysis with reference to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 369-383, August.
    38. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    39. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2006. "Tax Morale: A Survey with a Special Focus on Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(III), pages 395-425, September.
    40. Alm, James & Sanchez, Isabel & de Juan, Ana, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 3-18.
    41. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    42. 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.
    43. Nigel Rice & Andrew Jones, 1997. "Multilevel models and health economics," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(6), pages 561-575, November.
    44. Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-383.
    45. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    46. 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.
    47. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    48. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-171.
    49. Greenberg, David & Moffitt, Robert & Friedmann, John, 1981. "Underreporting and Experimental Effects on Work Effort: Evidence from the Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-589, November.
    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. Yaniv, Gideon, 1997. "Welfare fraud and welfare stigma," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 435-451, June.
    52. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
    53. Spicer, Michael W. & Hero, Rodney E., 1985. "Tax evasion and heuristics : A research note," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 263-267, March.
    54. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Wilde, Louis L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Federal Income Tax Auditing and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 41(1), pages 61-74, March.
    55. Douglas Wolf & David Greenberg, 1986. "The Dynamics of Welfare Fraud: An Econometric Duration Model in Discrete Time," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 437-455.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2010. "An annotated bibliography of tax compliance and tax compliance costs," MPRA Paper 26106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 353-388, April.
    3. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    4. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2007. "With or Against the People? The Impact of a Bottom-Up Approach on Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6331x6vz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Shadow Economy," Chapters, in: Friedrich Schneider (ed.), Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 10, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Çule, Monika & Fulton, Murray, 2009. "Business culture and tax evasion: Why corruption and the unofficial economy can persist," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 811-822, December.
    7. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    8. James Alm & Matthias Kasper, 2020. "Laboratory Experiments," Working Papers 2008, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    9. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Beyond Punishment: a tax compliance experiment with taxpayers in Costa Rica," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business, vol. 18(1), pages 27-56, June.
    10. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2007. "Tax Evasion, Tax Amnesties and the Psychological Tax Contract," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0729, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    11. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2007. "With or Against the People? The Impact of a Bottom-Up Approach on Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6331x6vz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    12. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Compliance as the Result of a Psychological Tax Contract: The Role of Incentives and Responsive Regulation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale and Institutions," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    14. Bayer, Ralph-C & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "The excess burden of tax evasion--An experimental detection-concealment contest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 527-543, July.
    15. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt26s710z8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    16. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    17. Gerxhani, Klarita & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Tax evasion and income source: A comparative experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 402-422, June.
    18. Benno Torgler & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain (2005)," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0521, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    19. Semjén, András, 2017. "Az adózói magatartás különféle magyarázatai [Various explanations for tax compliance]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 140-184.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax; subsidies; tax morale; benefit morale; tax evasion; benefit fraud;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    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:jku:econwp:2005_05. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vlinzat.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: René Böheim (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vlinzat.html .

    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.