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Corruption and Tax Evasion with Competitive Bribes

In this paper we consider a simple economy where self interested taxpayers may have incentives to evade taxes and to escape sanctions, by bribing public officials in charge for tax collection. The level of monitoring and the level of corruption are endogenously determined assuming that the price for corruption (bribe) sets at a value where expected rents in the public sector are completely dissipated in monitoring costs due to competition among public officials. In the proposed framework, larger fines for evasion will increase tax compliance with ambiguous effects on corruption while larger fine for corruption reduce corruption at the cost of reducing tax compliance. Interestingly, a utilitarian legislator will want to set maximal penalties. Intuitively, preventing corruption through fines is valuable to the planner since it reduces the amount of rent dissipation in the public sector at the cost of decreasing deterrence for the underlying offence (evasion). Finally the shadow value of deterrence is such that the level of public good provided in the economy is smaller than its first best.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 112.

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Date of creation: 21 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:112
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  1. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "Corruption and Optimal Law Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 6945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
  3. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1987. "On the Excess Burden of Tax Evasion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 15(2), pages 123-137, April.
  4. Sanyal, Amal & Gang, Ira N & Goswami, Omkar, 2000. " Corruption, Tax Evasion and the Laffer Curve," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 61-78, October.
  5. Saha, Atanu & Poole, Graham, 2000. "The economics of crime and punishment: An analysis of optimal penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-196, August.
  6. repec:att:wimass:9610 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  9. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  10. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  11. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  12. Bar-Gill, O. & Harel, A., 2000. "Crime Rates and Expected Sanctions: The Economics of Deterrence Revisited," Papers 00-14, Tel Aviv.
  13. 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.
  14. Hindriks, J. & Keen, M. & Muthoo, A., 1998. "Corruption, Extortion and Evasion," Discussion Papers 9809, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  15. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1992. "Monitoring vis-a-vis Investigation in Enforcement of Law," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 556-65, June.
  16. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis, 1992. "Corruption in tax administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 333-349, December.
  17. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-41, January.
  19. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
  20. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
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