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

The Social Multiplier of Tax Evasion: Evidence from Italian Audit Data

  • Roberto Galbiati


  • Giulio Zanella


We investigate the role of individual interdependencies in tax evasion, arising from congestion on the auditing resources available to local tax authorities. Identification exploits a novel method based on comparison of the variance of individual behavior — concealed income in this case — at different levels of aggregation, within different subpopulations (Graham, 2008). This method allows us to mitigate some of the most severe problems that surround identification of neighbourhood effects, at the cost of identifying restrictions that arise naturally from our model. We employ a unique dataset of tax audits to about 75,000 self-employed individuals in Italy. Surprisingly, this sample is not statistically different from a random sample of taxpayers. We find a social multiplier of about 3, meaning that the equilibrium response to a shock that induces an exogenous variation in mean concealed income — such as tougher or looser tax enforcement — is about three times the initial average response

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 Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 539.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:539
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Piazza S.Francesco,7 - 53100 Siena

Phone: (39)(0577)232620
Fax: (39)(0577)232661
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
  3. 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.
  4. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie Claire Villeval, 2004. "Tax Evasion and Social Interactions," Post-Print halshs-00180104, HAL.
  5. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 345-353, 04/05.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  8. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 235-260.
  10. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  11. Marco Manacorda, 2003. "Child Labor and the Labor Supply of Other Household Members: Evidence from 1920 America," Working Papers 504, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  12. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What do we really know?," IAW Discussion Papers 16, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  14. 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.
  15. Durlauf,S.N., 2003. "Neighborhood effects," Working papers 17, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  16. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
  17. 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.
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:usi:wpaper:539. 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: (Fabrizio Becatti)

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.