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Quality of Government Services and the Civic Duty to Pay Taxes in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and other Transition Countries

  • Jan Hanousek

    (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education)

  • Filip Palda

    (École nationale d'administration publique in Montreal)

A 2002 survey of 1089 Czechs and 501 Slovaks, as well as a more limited survey of Hungary, and Poland, indicates that an individual may evade taxes in part if he believes he is receiving substandard government services. We suggest that an individual’s evaluation of the quality of government services is not influenced by his need to justify his evasion. Self-reported measures of morality show no correlation with evasion. This suggests that perceptions of government services are not shaped by an individual’s need to justify his evasion. This gives weight to our finding that the perceived quality of government services influences evasion. The less quality of government services an individual reports, the more likely he is to evade taxes. A 20% increase in the perception that government services are of quality would lead to a 5% decrease in the number of frequent tax evaders and a 12% increase in the number who never evade. Governments in transition countries who suffer from weak tax collection apparatus may wish to transmit clear information on the quality of their services in order to cut down on evasion.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/pe/papers/0209/0209007.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0209007.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0209007
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM-PC; pages: 39
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. 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.
  2. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  5. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1989. "Who profits from taxpayer confusion?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 49-55.
  6. Filip Palda, 1998. "Evasive Ability and the Efficiency Cost of the Underground Economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1118-1138, November.
  7. Browning, Edgar K, 1976. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 283-98, April.
  8. Peter Sørensen, 1994. "From the global income tax to the dual income tax: Recent tax reforms in the Nordic countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 57-79, February.
  9. Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-83.
  10. 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 363-73, August.
  11. 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.
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