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Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link


  • Martin Halla


Recent literature on tax evasion emphasizes the importance of moral considerations to explain compliance behavior. As a consequence scholars aim to identify factors that shape this so-called tax morale. However, the causal link between tax morale and actual compliance behavior is not established yet. Exploiting exogenous variation in tax morale - given by the inherited part of tax morale of American-born from their ancestors country of origin - our instrumental variable analysis provides first evidence on a causal effect of tax morale on the size of the underground production.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Halla, 2010. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," NRN working papers 2010-05, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_05

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    More about this item


    Tax morale; tax evasion; tax compliance; underground production;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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