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Illegal, Immoral, Fattening or What?: How Deterrence and Responsive Regulation Shape Tax Morale

Author

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  • Lars P. Feld

    (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Philipps Universitaet Marburg)

  • Bruno S. Frey

    (University of Zürich)

Abstract

The traditional economic approach to tax evasion does not appear to be particularly successful in explaining the extent of tax compliance. It is often argued that reciprocity norms which establish a fiscal exchange between the state and the citizens shape tax morale to a large extent. In that respect, a case study of Switzerland may be useful because the small size of the cantons and their direct democratic political systems procedurally establish a close exchange relationship between taxpayers and tax authorities. In this paper, evidence is discussed on how tax morale in Switzerland evolved over time. In addition, the impact of economic, legal, socio- demographic, psychological and institutional factors on Swiss tax evasion is analyzed. It can be concluded that Switzerland’s system of responsive regulation increases tax morale.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Illegal, Immoral, Fattening or What?: How Deterrence and Responsive Regulation Shape Tax Morale," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200426, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:volksw:200426
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Schmutz, 2016. "Measuring the Invisible: An Overview of and Outlook for Tax Non-Compliance Estimates and Measurement Methods for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 152(II), pages 125-177, June.
    2. Colin C. Williams & Slavko Bezeredi, 2018. "An Institutional Theory Of Informal Entrepreneurship: Some Lessons From Fyr Macedonia," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(03), pages 1-22, September.
    3. Mariana Bode & Oliver Budzinski, 2005. "Competing Ways Towards International Antitrust: the WTO versus the ICN," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200503, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Felix Schmutz, 2016. "Measuring the Invisible: An Overview of and Outlook for Tax Non-Compliance Estimates and Measurement Methods for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 152(2), pages 125-177, April.
    5. Colin Williams, 2020. "An Institutional Theory of Tax Non- Compliance in Bulgaria: a Tax Morale Approach," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 1, pages 33-49, March.
    6. Arun Sharma & Renuka Sharma, 2022. "Exploring Tax Decision Factors: A Perspective from North Indian Tax Practitioners," Journal of Tax Reform, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Ural Federal University, vol. 8(3), pages 285-297.
    7. Colin C. Williams & Slavko Bezeredi, 2021. "Explaining informal entrepreneurship in Croatia: a social actor approach," International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 42(3), pages 348-368.
    8. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2010. "An annotated bibliography of tax compliance and tax compliance costs," MPRA Paper 26106, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Evasion; Tax Morale; Deterrence; Responsive Regulation.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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