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Who participates in tax amnesties? Self-selection of risk-averse taxpayers

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  • Marchese, Carla
  • Privileggi, Fabio

Abstract

In this paper we model taxpayer participation in an unanticipated tax amnesty which can be entered by paying a fixed amount. Taxpayers are characterized by a Constant Relative Risk Aversion (CRRA) utility function and differ in relative risk aversion coefficient and in income. With minor changes the same model also describes a FATOTA (Fixed Amount of Taxes or Tax Audit) system. Our results show that amnesties may fail as a self-selective device to fully separate large-scale from small-scale tax evaders and to extract resources from the former. Only taxpayers whose relative risk aversion falls within a given interval participate, while those whose evasion is too small or too large do not enter. The model is used to estimate relative risk aversion and tax evasion of participants in the 1991 and 1994 Italian income tax amnesties.

Suggested Citation

  • Marchese, Carla & Privileggi, Fabio, 2001. "Who participates in tax amnesties? Self-selection of risk-averse taxpayers," POLIS Working Papers 21, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marchese, Carla & Privileggi, Fabio, 1997. "Taxpayers' Attitudes toward Risk and Amnesty Participation: Economic Analysis and Evidence for the Italian Case," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 52(3-4), pages 394-410.
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    6. Franzoni, Luigi Alberto, 2000. "Amnesties, Settlements and Optimal Tax Enforcement," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 153-176, May.
    7. Fisher, Ronald C. & Goddeeris, John H. & Young, James C., 1989. "Participation in Tax Amnesties: The Individual Income Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 42(1), pages 15-27, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax amnesty; tax evasion; relative risk aversion; self-selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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