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Compliance cost estimates: Survey non-response and temporal framing effects


  • Eichfelder, Sebastian


Due to empirical research, tax and accounting compliance costs are a considerable burden for private businesses. However, cost estimates may be biased due to survey nonresponse and questionnaire framing effects. This paper investigates the impact of both aspects on the estimated cost burden. I do not find significant evidence for a non-response bias. By contrast, my results indicate that framing effects regarding the temporal dimension of cost measurement (temporal framing effects) might alter cost estimates by up to 68 percent downwards (respectively 211 percent upwards). There is also evidence that temporal framing effects are more relevant for small self-employed businesses with limited information capacities and accounting obligations as well as for internal cost burdens.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichfelder, Sebastian, 2013. "Compliance cost estimates: Survey non-response and temporal framing effects," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 146, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896.
    2. Eva Labro & Mario Vanhoucke, 2008. "Diversity in Resource Consumption Patterns and Robustness of Costing Systems to Errors," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(10), pages 1715-1730, October.
    3. Peter Iliev, 2010. "The Effect of SOX Section 404: Costs, Earnings Quality, and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1163-1196, June.
    4. Robyn Pilcher & Graeme Dean, 2009. "Consequences and Costs of Financial Reporting Compliance for Local Government," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 725-744.
    5. Sophie Hoozée & Lea Vermeire & Werner Bruggeman, 2012. "The Impact of Refinement on the Accuracy of Time-driven ABC," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 48(4), pages 439-472, December.
    6. Hudson, John & Godwin, Michael, 2000. "The compliance costs of collecting direct tax in the UK:: An analysis of PAYE and National Insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 29-44, July.
    7. repec:bla:joares:v:36:y:1998:i:2:p:365-378 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Vaillancourt, François, 2014. "Tax compliance costs: A review of cost burdens and cost structures," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 178, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    2. Sebastian Eichfelder & François Vaillancourt, 2014. "Tax Compliance Costs: A Review of Cost Burdens and Cost Structures," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 210(3), pages 111-148, September.

    More about this item


    compliance cost measurement; measurement error; non-response bias; temporal framing effect;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • M42 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Auditing
    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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