IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/usg/dp2010/2010-17.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Tax Morale, Tax Evasion, and the Shadow Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

    ()

Abstract

Under which conditions is moral justification of taxation possible? This question does not only interest philosophers and economists from a scientific point of view, but can have considerable practical relevance as well because the willingness of citizens to pay taxes may depend upon whether they consider taxation to be morally justified or not. We first consider theoretical arguments on the role of tax morale, and when tax evasion might be considered as justified by citizens or not. Then we ask how tax morale can be measured. Next, we discuss the role of tax morale for the shadow economy, before determinants of tax morale and empirical results for the impact of tax morale on tax compliance are discussed. For a high tax morale, institutional and cultural factors are at least as important as economic incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion, and the Shadow Economy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2010:2010-17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2010/DP-1017-Ki.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kirchgässner, Gebhard, 2010. "On minimal morals," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 330-339, September.
    2. Reckers, Philip M.J. & Sanders, Debra L. & Roark, Stephen J., 1994. "The Influence of Ethical Attitudes on Taxpayer Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(4), pages 825-836, December.
    3. Vito Tanzi & Parthasarathi Shome, 1993. "A Primer on Tax Evasion," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 807-828, December.
    4. Robert W. McGee, & Arsen M. Djatej, & Robert H. S. Sarikas,, 2012. "The Ethics Of Tax Evasion: A Survey Of Hispanic Opinion," Accounting & Taxation, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 4(1), pages 53-74.
    5. Alessandro Balestrino, "undated". "Tax Avoidance, Endogenous Social Norms, and the Comparison Income Effect," EPRU Working Paper Series 05-15, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Dec 2005.
    6. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, June.
    7. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
    8. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation When Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 285-300, October.
    10. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    11. Kirchler, Erich & Wahl, Ingrid, 2010. "Tax compliance inventory TAX-I: Designing an inventory for surveys of tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 331-346, June.
    12. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
    13. Vihanto, Martti, 2003. "Tax evasion and the psychology of the social contract," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 111-125, May.
    14. Verboon, Peter & van Dijke, Marius, 2007. "A self-interest analysis of justice and tax compliance: How distributive justice moderates the effect of outcome favorability," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 704-727, December.
    15. Eduardo Engel & James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 47, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    16. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
    17. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
    18. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-757, September.
    19. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Benno Torgler, 2007. "The Impact of Direct Democracy and Local Autonomy on Tax Morale in Switzerland," Working Papers 06-2007, Institute of Local Public Finance.
    21. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    22. Robert McGee, 2006. "Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 15-35, August.
    23. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "What Shapes Attitudes Toward Paying Taxes? Evidence from Multicultural European Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 443-470.
    24. Richard Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Tax Effort: The Impact of Corruption, Voice and Accountability," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 223, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    25. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale in Transition Countries," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 357-381.
    26. 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.
    27. Cummings, Ronald G. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McKee, Michael & Torgler, Benno, 2009. "Tax morale affects tax compliance: Evidence from surveys and an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 447-457, June.
    28. Benno Torgler & Jan Werner, 2005. "Tax Morale and Fiscal Autonomy: Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 03-2005, Institute of Local Public Finance.
    29. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance With Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 45(1), pages 107-114, March.
    30. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-170, July.
    31. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-245, April.
    32. Buchanan, James M, 1987. "The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 243-250, June.
    33. 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.
    34. Guglielmo Barone & Sauro Mocetti, 2011. "Tax morale and public spending inefficiency," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(6), pages 724-749, December.
    35. Lars P. Feld & Benno Torgler & Bin Dong, 2008. "Coming Closer? Tax Morale, Deterrence and Social Learning after German Unification," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    36. Alm, James & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-246, April.
    37. Bosco, Luigi & Mittone, Luigi, 1997. "Tax Evasion and Moral Constraints: Some Experimental Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 297-324.
    38. Frey, Bruno S. & Weck-Hanneman, Hannelore, 1984. "The hidden economy as an 'unobserved' variable," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 33-53.
    39. Forest, Adam & Sheffrin, Steven M., 2002. "Complexity and Compliance: An Empirical Investigation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 55(1), pages 75-88, March.
    40. Torgler, Benno, 2006. "The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 81-109, September.
    41. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2008. "Ethical preferences, risk aversion, and taxpayer behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 45-63, February.
    42. Reckers, Philip M.J. & Sanders, Debra L. & Roark, Stephen J., 1994. "The Influence of Ethical Attitudes on Taxpayer Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(4), pages 825-36, December.
    43. Slemrod, Joel B, 1985. "An Empirical Test for Tax Evasion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 232-238, May.
    44. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
    45. Wenzel, Michael, 2004. "An analysis of norm processes in tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-228, April.
    46. Crane, Steven E. & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1990. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence From California Amnesty Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 43(2), pages 189-199, June.
    47. Werner Güth & Vittoria Levati & Rupert Sausgruber, 2005. "Tax morale and (de-)centralization: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 171-188, July.
    48. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
    49. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
    50. Shih-Ying Wu & Mei-Jane Teng, 2005. "Determinants of Tax Compliance - A Cross-Country Analysis," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 393-393, November.
    51. 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.
    52. Torgler, Benno, 2003. "To evade taxes or not to evade: that is the question," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 283-302, July.
    53. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
    54. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
    55. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    56. Orviska, Marta & Hudson, John, 2003. "Tax evasion, civic duty and the law abiding citizen," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 83-102, March.
    57. Park, Chang-Gyun & Hyun, Jin Kwon, 2003. "Examining the determinants of tax compliance by experimental data: a case of Korea," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 673-684, November.
    58. Alm, James & Beck, William, 1993. "Tax Amnesties and Compliance in the Long Run: A Time Series Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(1), pages 53-60, March.
    59. Chaudhuri, Kausik & Schneider, Friedrich & Chattopadhyay, Sumana, 2006. "The size and development of the shadow economy: An empirical investigation from states of India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 428-443, August.
    60. 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 657-683, December.
    61. Lago-Peñas, Ignacio & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2010. "The determinants of tax morale in comparative perspective: Evidence from European countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 441-453, December.
    62. Wenzel, Michael, 2005. "Motivation or rationalisation? Causal relations between ethics, norms and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 491-508, August.
    63. Gordon, Scott, 1976. "The New Contractarians," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 573-590, June.
    64. Roberto Dell’Anno & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2006. "Estimating the underground economy by using MIMIC models: A response to T. Breusch´s critique," Economics working papers 2006-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    65. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    66. Forest, Adam & Sheffrin, Steven M., 2002. "Complexity and Compliance: An Empirical Investigation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 75-88, March.
    67. Vito Tanzi & Parthasarathi Shome, 1993. "A Primeron Tax Evasion," IMF Working Papers 93/21, International Monetary Fund.
    68. Torgler, Benno, 2004. "Tax morale in Asian countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 237-266, April.
    69. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
    70. Crane, Steven E. & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1990. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from California Amnesty Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(2), pages 189-99, June.
    71. Ireland, N. J., 2001. "Optimal income tax in the presence of status effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 193-212, August.
    72. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-245, March.
    73. Pommerehne, Werner W & Hart, Albert & Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Choice of Policy Instruments in Different Political Systems," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 52-69.
    74. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-373, August.
    75. Aloys Prinz, 2004. "Steuermoral und Religiosität in Ost- und Westdeutschland," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(4), pages 511-537.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ris:utmsje:0218 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax morale; tax evasion; principles of taxation; trust; direct democracy; federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usg:dp2010:2010-17. 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: (Martina Flockerzi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vwasgch.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.