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Attitudes, Incentives and Tax Compliance

Author

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  • V.U. Trivedi
  • M. Shehata
  • S. Mestelman

Abstract

Our study examines whether combining experimental economics and economics psychology techniques can provide a better understanding of individuals’ tax compliance decisions in the laboratory. We find that considering individuals’ attitudinal, personality and intention measures in addition to economic based variables provides a richer understanding of individuals’ actual tax compliance decisions in the laboratory in the face of monetary incentives. We also find that hypothetical and actual compliance decisions in the laboratory are significantly different from each other. Specifically, we find that actual (hypothetical) compliance decisions are significantly influenced by their moral reasoning (anti-establishment) views. Finally, we find that individuals’ actual compliance decisions in the laboratory correlate more significantly with their admission of prior evasion than either their hypothetical compliance decisions or their responses to case scenarios. The latter result, coupled with the lack of appropriate field data on tax compliance, indicates that actual compliance decisions in the laboratory in the face of monetary incentives and with the use of tax terms in the instructions may be an ideal method of obtaining data on individuals’ tax compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • V.U. Trivedi & M. Shehata & S. Mestelman, 2004. "Attitudes, Incentives and Tax Compliance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-08, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2004-08
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2004-08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Alm, James & Sanchez, Isabel & de Juan, Ana, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 3-18.
    4. Joel Slemrod & Jon Bakija, 2004. "Taxing Ourselves, 3rd Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 026269302x, January.
    5. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ibanez, Marcela & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2010. "A survey-based choice experiment on coca cultivation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 249-263, November.
    2. TODOR Silvia Paula & DUMITER Florin Cornel & BREZEANU Petre, 2016. "The Influence Of Fiscal Pressure On The Taxpayers Behavior," Revista Economica, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 68(3), pages 178-193, December.
    3. Kirchler, Erich & Hoelzl, Erik & Wahl, Ingrid, 2008. "Enforced versus voluntary tax compliance: The "slippery slope" framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 210-225, April.
    4. Kirchler, Erich & Niemirowski, Apolonia & Wearing, Alexander, 2006. "Shared subjective views, intent to cooperate and tax compliance: Similarities between Australian taxpayers and tax officers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 502-517, August.
    5. Alex Reuben Kira, 2017. "An Evaluation of Governments’ Initiatives in Enhancing Small Taxpayers’ Voluntary Tax Compliance in Developing Countries," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 7(1), pages 253-267, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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