Trust in Public Finance
Using data on trust and trustworthiness from the 1990 wave of the World Values Survey, I first investigate a model of the extent of tax cheating and the size of government that recognizes the interdependence of the two. The results reveal that tax cheating is lower in countries that exhibit more (not-government-related) trustworthiness. However, holding that constant, tax cheating becomes more acceptable as government grows. All in all, there is some weak evidence that the strong positive cross-country correlation between the size of government and tax cheating masks the fact that big government induces tax cheating while, at the same time, tax cheating constrains big government. I then add to the structural model an equation determining the level of prosperity, allowing prosperity to depend, inter alia, on the level of government and on trust in others. I find some evidence that both prosperity and government involvement are higher in more trusting societies. Moreover, holding these measures of trust constant, the association of government size with prosperity is positive until a level of government spending somewhere between 31% and 38% of GDP, after which its marginal effect is negative. Thus, although a trusting citizenry allows larger government, the tax burden this entails erodes the rule obedience taxpayers exhibit toward government.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2002|
|Publication status:||published as Cnossen, Sijbren and Hans-Werner Sinn (eds.) Public finance and public policy in the new century, CESifo Seminar Series. Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 2003.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Barro, 1991.
"A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government,"
in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 271-304
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Buchanan & Richard A. Musgrave, 1999. "Public Finance and Public Choice: Two Contrasting Visions of the State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024624, March.
- Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983.
"Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000.
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
- Joel Slemrod, 1998.
"A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation,"
NBER Working Papers
6582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
- Epple, Dennis, 1998. "Rent control with reputation: theory and evidence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 679-710, November.
- Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
- Cripps, Martin W & Thomas, Jonathan P, 1995. "Reputation and Commitment in Two-Person Repeated Games without Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1401-19, November.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998.
"The Quality of Government,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, "undated". "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-2, Enero.
- Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996.
9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993.
"Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
- William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Klepper, Steven & Nagin, Daniel, 1989. "The Anatomy of Tax Evasion," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, Spring.
- Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1996.
"Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
- Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992.
"A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
- C. Eugene Steuerle, 1986. "Who Should Pay For Collecting Taxes," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 650820, 1.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
- Cullis, John G. & Lewis, Alan, 1997. "Why people pay taxes: From a conventional economic model to a model of social convention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 305-321, April.
- Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "Tax Illusion and the Labor Supply of Married Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 167-72, May.
- Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March.
- Falkinger, Josef, 1995. "Tax evasion, consumption of public goods and fairness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 63-72, March.
- Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486, March.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9187. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.