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Tax Compliance, Tax Morale And Governance Quality

  • Benno Torgler


  • Markus Schaffner
  • Alison Macintyre

Taxpayers are more compliant than the traditional economic models predict. Why? The literature calls it the “puzzle of tax compliance”. In this paper we use field, experimental and survey data to investigate the empirical evidence on whether presence of tax morale helps to resolve this puzzle. The results reveal a strong correlation between tax morale and tax evasion/compliance which confirms the value of taking the research a step further by looking at the determinants of tax morale. We explore this question with a particular focus on the importance of governance quality.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 225.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:225
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  1. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
  3. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  4. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1923, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
  6. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Government accountability and fiscal discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 117-140, February.
  8. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 2541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  10. Gordon, James P. P., 1989. "Individual morality and reputation costs as deterrents to tax evasion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 797-805, April.
  11. 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 657-83, December.
  12. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
  13. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Sheffrin, S.M. & Triest, R.K., 1991. "Can Brute Deterrence Backfire? Perceptions and Attitudes in Taxpayer Compliance," Papers 373, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  15. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger & Markus Schaffner, 2003. "Is Forgiveness Divine? A Cross-Culture Comparison of Tax Amnesties," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 375-396, September.
  16. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2014. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 301-351, May.
  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:4:p:771-85 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Benno Torgler & James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "Russian Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes – Before, During, and After the Transition," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0518, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  19. Naylor, Robin, 1987. "Strikes, Free Riders and Social Customs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  20. Bosco, Luigi & Mittone, Luigi, 1997. "Tax Evasion and Moral Constraints: Some Experimental Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 297-324.
  21. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, 06.
  22. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  23. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1975. "Macroeconomic Constraints, Economic Efficiency and Ethics: An Introduction to Kantian Economics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(168), pages 430-37, November.
  24. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  25. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2005. "Tax Amnesties and Political Participation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 33(3), pages 403-431, May.
  26. Bruno Frey & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Informal and underground economy," Economics working papers 2000-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  27. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner, 2007. "Causes and Consequences of Tax Morale: An Empirical Investigation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  28. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  29. Spicer, M W & Lundstedt, S B, 1976. "Understanding Tax Evasion," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 31(2), pages 295-305.
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