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

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  • Sandro Casal

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandro Casal & Luigi Mittone, 2014. "Social Esteem versus Social Stigma: the role of anonymity in an income reporting game," CEEL Working Papers 1401, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:1401
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcelo Arbex & Justin M. Carre & Shawn N. Geniole & Enlinson Mattos, 2018. "Testosterone, personality traits and tax evasion," Working Papers 1801, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.
    2. Christian Schitter & Jürgen Fleiß & Stefan Palan, 2017. "To claim or not to claim: Anonymity, reciprocal externalities and honesty," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-01, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:176-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kandul, Serhiy & Uhl, Matthias, 2016. "Inspirations or incitements? Ethical mind-sets and the effect of moral examples," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 146-153.
    5. Alm, James & Bernasconi, Michele & Laury, Susan & Lee, Daniel J. & Wallace, Sally, 2017. "Culture, compliance, and confidentiality: Taxpayer behavior in the United States and Italy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 176-196.
    6. Arbex, Marcelo & Carré, Justin M. & Geniole, Shawn N. & Mattos, Enlinson, 2018. "Tax evasion, testosterone and personality traits," Textos para discussão 466, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    7. Holm, Hakan J. & Samahita, Margaret, 2016. "Curating Social Image: Experimental Evidence on the Value of Actions and Selfies," Working Papers 2016:8, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 14 Nov 2016.

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    Keywords

    Tax Evasion; Non-monetary incentives; Anonymity; Experimental Economics;

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