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Social Esteem versus Social Stigma: the role of anonymity in an income reporting game

  • Sandro Casal

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

When the phenomenon of tax evasion is discussed, both scholars and authorities agree on the fact that, although essential, classical enforcements are not enough to ensure tax compliance: some other forms of incentives must be adopted. The paper’s aim is to experimentally test the role of different non- monetary incentives for tax compliance: participants have been treated with different experimental conditions, which differ in the role played by anonymity. Indeed, subjects have been informed on the possibility of revealing their identity and their choices through the publication of their pictures, as a consequence of the result of the auditing process. As expected, anonymity plays an important role in the decision to pay taxes; in addition, we find that negative non-monetary incentive increases tax compliance more effectively than positive non-monetary incentive. We find also that the effect of these non-monetary incentives is mitigated, when too many information are made available. Finally, results show that, when evasion is made public, tax-dodgers are willing to pay in order to keep secret their cheating behavior and avoid public shame.

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Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 1401.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:1401
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