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The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel?

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Qari, Salmai

Abstract

We study the effects of patriotism on tax compliance. In particular, we assume that individuals feel a (random draw of) warm glow from honestly paying their taxes. A higher expected warm glow reduces the government's optimal audit probability and yields higher tax compliance. Second, individuals with higher warm glow are less likely to evade taxes. This prediction is confirmed empirically by a multivariate analysis on the individual level while controlling for several other potentially confounding factors. The findings survive a variety of robustness checks, including an instrumental variables estimation to tackle the possible endogeneity of patriotism. On the aggregate level, we provide evidence for a negative correlation between average patriotic warm glow and the size of the shadow economy across several countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad, Kai A. & Qari, Salmai, 2012. "The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel?," Munich Reprints in Economics 13960, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:13960
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    2. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," Working Papers 04-2007, Institute of Local Public Finance.
    3. Coricelli, Giorgio & Joffily, Mateus & Montmarquette, Claude & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," IZA Discussion Papers 3103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Salmai Qari & Kai Konrad & Benny Geys, 2012. "Patriotism, taxation and international mobility," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 695-717, June.
    5. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-245, April.
    6. Crumpler, Heidi & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "An experimental test of warm glow giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1011-1021, June.
    7. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
    8. Torgler, Benno, 2006. "The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-109, September.
    9. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1997. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 951-968, November.
    10. Parkash Chander & Louis L. Wilde, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 165-183.
    11. Alm, James & Jacobson, Sarah, 2007. "Using Laboratory Experimentsin Public Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(1), pages 129-152, March.
    12. 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.
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    Keywords

    Patriotism; tax evasion; warm glow;

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