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Persistence or Convergence? The East-West Tax Morale Gap in Germany

  • Möhlmann, Axel

This paper studies differences in tax morale attitudes between East and West Germany using multiple recent data sets. Contrary to previous 1990s evidence, but in line with recent studies on an east-west mentality gap, we find a persistent higher tax morale in East Germany and no indication of convergence over time. Distinguishing between region of living and birth and periods of within-country migration reveals that the East Germans who stayed determine the results and that migration vanishes differences. Regional economic heterogeneity of tax revenue transfers cannot explain the results. We find a framing effect on the tax morale gap with questions phrasing tax paying as the duty of a good citizen. This result suggests no gap of tax morale with moral reasoning related to the social order and citizenry.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/50766/1/MPRA_paper_50766.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50766.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2013
Date of revision: 27 Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50766
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  1. 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.
  2. Benno Torgler, 2003. "The Importance of Faith: Tax Morale and Religiosity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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  7. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Progressive Taxation and Tax Morale," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 01-06, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  8. Davide Cantoni, 2010. "The Economic Effects of the Protestant Reformation: Testing the Weber Hypothesis in the German Lands," Working Papers 524, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Stefan Bauernschuster & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 5-27, January.
  10. Halla, Martin, 2010. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," IZA Discussion Papers 4918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Kai A. Konrad & Salmai Qari, 2012. "The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel? Patriotism and Tax Compliance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(315), pages 516-533, 07.
  14. Friedrich Heinemann, 2011. "Economic crisis and morale," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 35-49, August.
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  16. Nikolaus Wolf, 2008. "Was Germany Ever United? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade 1885-1933," CEP Discussion Papers dp0870, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Heineck, Guido & Süssmuth, Bernd, 2013. "A different look at Lenin’s legacy: Social capital and risk taking in the Two Germanies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 789-803.
  18. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "Staunching Emigration from East Germany: Age and the Determinants of Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1014-1037, 09.
  19. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  20. Heinemann, Friedrich, 2007. "Is the Welfare State Self-destructive? A Study of Government Benefit Morale," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-029, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  21. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "Germany's Economic Unification: An Assessment after Ten Years," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 113-28, February.
  22. Joel Slemrod, 2010. "Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(1), pages 15-33, March.
  23. Elaine Doyle & Jane Frecknall Hughes & Barbara Summers, 2013. "An Empirical Analysis of the Ethical Reasoning of Tax Practitioners," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 325-339, May.
  24. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
  25. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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