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Optimal Audit Policy and Heterogenous Agents


  • Marisa Ratto

    (CMPO - University of Bristol)

  • Thibaud Vergé

    (University of Southampton)


Frauds can be explained not only in terms of individual willingness to cheat, but may also be driven by opportunities to behave dishonestly. The audit policy should therefore be different for different categories of agents. This paper focuses on the optimal audit policy when there are two categories of agents and shows that the auditor adopts different policies depending on its budget. When resources are quite limited, the auditor sets identical audit probabilities for both types. On the other hand, in most of the cases, the authority should first ensure that people with lower opportunities choose not to commit an offence.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Ratto & Thibaud Vergé, 2003. "Optimal Audit Policy and Heterogenous Agents," Public Economics 0301001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0301001
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on PC-ScientificWord; pages: 35 ; figures: included/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hindriks, J., 1994. "Income Tax Compliance: The No-Commitment Game," Papers 149, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
    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. Cremer, H. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1990. "Evading, auditing and taxing : The equity-compliance tradeoff," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 67-92, October.
    4. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    5. repec:exe:wpaper:99/19 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Graetz, Michael J & Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    7. Greenberg, Joseph, 1984. "Avoiding tax avoidance: A (repeated) game-theoretic approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, February.
    8. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-760, October.
    9. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1987. "Audit Classes and Tax Enforcement Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 229-233, May.
    10. Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Auditing claims in the insurance market with fraud: The credibility issue," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 27-56, December.
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    More about this item


    Fraud; audit; opportunities; budget allocation.;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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