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The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel?

  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Qari, Salmai

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.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 13960.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economica 315 79(2012): pp. 516-533
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:13960
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  1. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  2. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 2541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  5. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Claude Montmarquette & Giorgio Coricelli & Mateus Joffily & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," Working Papers 0724, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  7. Qari, Salmai & Konrad, Kai A. & Geys, Benny, 2009. "Patriotism, taxation and international mobility
    [Patriotismus, Besteuerung und Internationale Mobilität]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-03, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3rd3f982, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  9. Alm, James & Jacobson, Sarah, 2007. "Using Laboratory Experimentsin Public Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(1), pages 129-52, March.
  10. 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 951-68, November.
  11. Torgler, Benno, 2006. "The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-109, September.
  12. 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.
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