IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Reciprocal Relationships in Tax Compliance Decisions

  • Cécile Bazart

    (LAMETA, University of Montpellier I, France)

  • Aurélie Bonein

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France)

Reciprocity considerations are important to the tax compliance problem as they may explain the global dynamics of tax evasion, beyond individual tax evasion decisions, toward a downward or upward spiral. To provide evidence on reciprocity in tax compliance decisions, we have conducted a laboratory experiment in which we introduced two types of inequities. The first type of inequity is called vertical, because it refers to inequities introduced by the government when it sets different fiscal parameters for identical taxpayers, while the second type of inequity is called horizontal because it refers to the fact that taxpayers may differ in tax compliance decisions. In this setting, taxpayers may react to a disadvantageous or advantageous inequity through negative or positive reciprocal behaviors, respectively. Our results support the existence of negative and positive reciprocity in both vertical and horizontal cases. When both inequities come into play and may induce reciprocal behaviors in opposite directions, the horizontal always dominates the vertical.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201239.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201239
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CREM (UMR CNRS 6211) – Faculty of Economics, 7 place Hoche, 35065 RENNES Cedex

Phone: 02 23 23 35 47
Fax: (33) 2 23 23 35 99
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: CREM (UMR CNRS 6211) - Faculty of Economics, 7 place Hoche, 35065 Rennes Cedex - France

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
  3. James Alm, 2012. "Measuring, Explaining, and Controlling Tax Evasion: Lessons from Theory, Experiments, and Field Studies," Working Papers 1213, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  4. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  5. Guglielmo Barone & Sauro Mocetti, 2009. "Tax morale and public spending inefficiency," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 732, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Arno Riedl & Marie Claire Villeval, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Welfare Fraud, and "The Broken Windows" Effect: An Experiment in Belgium, France and the Netherlands," PSE Working Papers halshs-00948296, HAL.
  7. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie Claire Villeval, 2007. "Tax Evasion and Social Interactions," Post-Print halshs-00238448, HAL.
  8. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert G., 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," Research Memorandum 039, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  9. Traxler, Christian, 2006. "Social Norms and Conditional Cooperative Taxpayers," Discussion Papers in Economics 1202, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Jan Schnellenbach, 2007. "Vertical and Horizontal Reciprocity in a Theory of Taxpayer Compliance," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0726, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  11. Wenzel, Michael, 2005. "Misperceptions of social norms about tax compliance: From theory to intervention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 862-883, December.
  12. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Kirchler,Erich, 2007. "The Economic Psychology of Tax Behaviour," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521876742, November.
  14. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Discussion Papers in Economics 726, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
  17. Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 643-63, December.
  18. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Tax Morale and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  19. Cowell, Frank A. & P.F. Gordon, James, 1988. "Unwillingness to pay : Tax evasion and public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 305-321, August.
  20. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  21. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  22. Bazart, C., 2001. "Les comportements de fraude fiscale : le face-à-face contribuables - administration fiscale," Cahiers du CREDEN (CREDEN Working Papers) 01.06.22, CREDEN (Centre de Recherche en Economie et Droit de l'Energie), Faculty of Economics, University of Montpellier 1.
  23. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  24. Cécile Bazart & Michael Pickhardt, 2011. "Fighting Income Tax Evasion with Positive Rewards," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 124-149, January.
  25. Alm, James & Bahl, Roy & Murray, Matthew N., 1993. "Audit selection and income tax underreporting in the tax compliance game," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-33, October.
  26. Falkinger, Josef, 1995. "Tax evasion, consumption of public goods and fairness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 63-72, March.
  27. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  28. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  29. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  30. Hug, Simon & Spörri, Franziska, 2011. "Referendums, trust, and tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 120-131, March.
  31. Alm, James & McKee, Michael, 2004. "Tax compliance as a coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 297-312, July.
  32. Dell'Anno, Roberto, 2009. "Tax evasion, tax morale and policy maker's effectiveness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 988-997, December.
  33. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Bjorn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Michel Andre Marechal & Daniel Schunk, 2009. "Egalitarianism and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 93-98, May.
  37. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
  38. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Cowell, F. A., 1992. "Tax evasion and inequity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 521-543, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201239. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CODA-POIREY Hélène)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.