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Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald G. Cummings
  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
  • Michael McKee
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

There is considerable evidence that enforcement efforts can increase tax compliance. However, there must be other forces at work because observed compliance levels cannot be fully explained by the level of enforcement actions typical of most tax authorities. Further, there are observed differences, not related to enforcement effort, in the levels of compliance across countries and cultures. To fully understand differences in compliance behavior across cultures one needs to understand differences in tax administration and citizen attitudes toward governments. The working hypothesis is that cross-cultural differences in behavior have foundations in these institutions. Tax compliance is a complex behavioral issue and its investigation requires the use of a variety of methods and data sources. Results from laboratory experiments conducted in different countries demonstrate that observed differences in tax compliance levels can be explained by differences in the fairness of tax administration, in the perceived fiscal exchange, and in the overall attitude towards the respective governments. These experimental results are shown to be robust by replicating them for the same countries using survey response measures of tax compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald G. Cummings & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Michael McKee & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Effects of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance: Experimental and Survey Evidence," NCER Working Paper Series 12, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2007-6
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    File URL: http://www.ncer.edu.au/papers/documents/WpNo12Feb07.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2010. "Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 407-426, April.
    2. Coricelli, Giorgio & Joffily, Mateus & Montmarquette, Claude & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Tax Evasion: Cheating Rationally or Deciding Emotionally?," IZA Discussion Papers 3103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Vitor Gaspar & Laura Jaramillo & Philippe Wingender, 2016. "Tax Capacity and Growth; Is there a Tipping Point?," IMF Working Papers 16/234, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "What Shapes Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes? Evidence from Multicultural European Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 443-470.
    5. Castro, Lucio & Scartascini, Carlos, 2015. "Tax compliance and enforcement in the pampas evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 65-82.
    6. Onu, Diana & Oats, Lynne, 2016. "“Paying tax is part of life”: Social norms and social influence in tax communications," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 29-42.
    7. Battiston, Pietro & Gamba, Simona, 2016. "The impact of social pressure on tax compliance: A field experiment," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 78-85.
    8. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2006. "Tax Morale: A Survey with a Special Focus on Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(III), pages 395-425, September.
    9. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    10. Andrew Clark & Davis Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort and Comparison Income : Survey and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0601, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    11. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    12. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Klarita Gërxhani, 2011. "Financial Satisfaction and (in)formal Sector in a Transition Country," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 102(2), pages 315-331, June.
    13. DeBacker, Jason & Heim, Bradley T. & Tran, Anh, 2015. "Importing corruption culture from overseas: Evidence from corporate tax evasion in the United States," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 122-138.
    14. Sandra Sookram & Patrick Kent Watson, 2008. "Small-Business Participation in the Informal Sector of an Emerging Economy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1531-1553.
    15. Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2016. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 38-55.
    16. Filippin, Antonio & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Viviano, Eliana, 2013. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax morale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 320-331.
    17. Cevat Bilgin, 2014. "Determinants of tax morale in Spain and Turkey: an empirical analysis," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 3(1), pages 60-74, June.
    18. Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr. & Violeta Piculescu, 2008. "Tax Toleration and Tax Compliance: How Government Affects the Propensity of Firms to Enter the Unofficial Economy," Discussion Papers 7_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    19. Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2014. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 163, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    20. Daniel Ortega & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Don't Blame the Messenger: A Field Experiment on Delivery Methods for Increasing Tax Compliance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 91741, Inter-American Development Bank.
    21. S. Sookram & P. K. Watson & F. Schneider, 2009. "Characteristics of households in the informal sector of an emerging economy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(27), pages 3545-3559.
    22. Daniel Ortega & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Don't Blame the Messenger: A Field Experiment on Delivery Methods for Increasing Tax Compliance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7284, Inter-American Development Bank.
    23. Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2008. "The Runaway Taxpayer or: Is Prior Tax Notice Effective against Scofflaws?," Working papers 01, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    24. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:354-366 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Mutascu, Mihai, 2011. "Compulsory voting and tax revenues," MPRA Paper 33987, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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