IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/hohdps/212018.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Shaming for tax enforcement: Evidence from a new policy

Author

Listed:
  • Dwenger, Nadja
  • Treber, Lukas

Abstract

Can public shaming increase tax compliance through social pressure? Many tax authorities make ample use of public shaming. However, empirical evidence from outside the laboratory on how a new shaming law affects overall compliance is lacking. We provide the first evidence from the field, exploiting comprehensive administrative tax data and the introduction of a novel naming-and-shaming policy in Slovenia in 2012. The policy aims to reduce outstanding tax debt among the self-employed and corporations. Our empirical strategy exploits the variation across taxpayers in ex ante exposure to the shaming policy. We find that taxpayers reduce their tax debt by 8.5% to avoid shaming, particularly in industries where reputational concerns are likely to be important. The publication of the first naming-and-shaming list further reduces tax debt among shamed taxpayers because of social learning. This effect, however, is marginal in terms of revenue and tapers off quickly.

Suggested Citation

  • Dwenger, Nadja & Treber, Lukas, 2018. "Shaming for tax enforcement: Evidence from a new policy," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 21-2018, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohdps:212018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/182441/1/1031664017.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leonardo Bursztyn & Robert Jensen, 2017. "Social Image and Economic Behavior in the Field: Identifying, Understanding, and Shaping Social Pressure," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 131-153, September.
    2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas, 2017. "Tax morale and the role of social norms and reciprocity: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-045, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Marcelo L. Bérgolo & Rodrigo Ceni & Guillermo Cruces & Matias Giaccobasso & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 23631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Erlend E. Bø & Joel Slemrod & Thor O. Thoresen, 2015. "Taxes on the Internet: Deterrence Effects of Public Disclosure," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 36-62, February.
    5. Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2020. "The Effects of Income Transparency on Well-Being: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(4), pages 1019-1054, April.
    6. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484.
    7. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
    8. Joel Slemrod & Caroline Weber, 2012. "Evidence of the invisible: toward a credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of tax evasion and the informal economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(1), pages 25-53, February.
    9. Hallsworth, Michael & List, John A. & Metcalfe, Robert D. & Vlaev, Ivo, 2017. "The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 14-31.
    10. Perez-Truglia, Ricardo & Troiano, Ugo, 2018. "Shaming tax delinquents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 120-137.
    11. Scott D. Dyreng & Jeffrey L. Hoopes & Jaron H. Wilde, 2016. "Public Pressure and Corporate Tax Behavior," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 147-186, March.
    12. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
    13. Pierre C. Boyer & Nadja Dwenger & Johannes Rincke, 2014. "Do Taxes Crowd Out Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-23, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    14. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2006. "Putting Firms into Optimal Tax Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 130-134, May.
    15. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
    16. Makoto Hasegawa & Jefrey L. Hoopes & Ryo Ishida & Joel Slemrod, 2013. "The Effect of Public Disclosure on Reported Taxable Income: Evidence From Individuals and Corporations in Japan," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(3), pages 571-608, September.
    17. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2013. "Testing Enforcement Strategies In The Field: Threat, Moral Appeal And Social Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 634-660, June.
    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. Garcia, Filomena & Opromolla, Luca David & Vezzulli, Andrea & Marques, Rafael, 2020. "The effects of official and unofficial information on tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    2. Antinyan, Armenak & Asatryan, Zareh, 2019. "Nudging for tax compliance: A meta-analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-055, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Blesse, Sebastian, 2021. "Are your tax problems an opportunity not to pay taxes? Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-040, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Slemrod, Joel & Ur Rehman, Obeid & Waseem, Mazhar, 2020. "How Do Taxpayers Respond to Public Disclosure and Social Recognition Programs? Evidence from Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 14463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 353-388, April.
    2. Tsikas, Stefanos A. & Wagener, Andreas, 2018. "Bringing Tax Avoiders to Light: Moral Framing and Shaming in a Public Goods Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-633, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Dwenger, Nadja & Kleven, Henrik & Rasul, Imran & Rincke, Johannes, 2014. "Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance. Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100389, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2017. "Tax morale and the role of social norms and reciprocity - Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ifo Working Paper Series 242, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    5. Joel Slemrod & Obeid Ur Rehman & Mazhar Waseem, 2020. "How do Taxpayers Respond to Public Disclosure and Social Recognition Programs? Evidence from Pakistan," CESifo Working Paper Series 8152, CESifo.
    6. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja & Sinning, Mathias, 2017. "Behavioral insights and business taxation: Evidence from two randomized controlled trials," Ruhr Economic Papers 698, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
    8. Dur, Robert & Vollaard, Ben, 2019. "Salience of law enforcement: A field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 208-220.
    9. Antinyan, Armenak & Asatryan, Zareh, 2019. "Nudging for tax compliance: A meta-analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-055, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    10. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
    11. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.
    12. Mascagni, Giulia, 2017. "From the Lab to the Field: A Review of Tax Experiments," Working Papers 13726, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    13. Musharraf Rasool Cyan & Antonios M. Koumpias & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2016. "The Effects of Media Campaigns on Individual Attitudes towards Tax Compliance; Quasi-experimental Evidence from Survey Data in Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1609, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    14. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Clément Imbert & Johannes Spinnewijn & Teodora Tsankova & Maarten Luts, 2021. "How to Improve Tax Compliance? Evidence from Population-Wide Experiments in Belgium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(5), pages 1425-1463.
    15. Garz, Marcel & Pagels, Verena, 2018. "Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 288-300.
    16. Joel Slemrod & Obeid Ur Rehman & Mazhar Waseem, 2019. "Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Motivations for Tax Compliance: Evidence from Pakistan," NBER Working Papers 25623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja M. & Sinning, Mathias, 2018. "Behavioral insights on business taxation: Evidence from two natural field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 30-49.
    18. Justin E. Holz & John A. List & Alejandro Zentner & Marvin Cardoza & Joaquin Zentner, 2020. "The $100 Million Nudge: Increasing Tax Compliance of Businesses and the Self-Employed using a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 27666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2018. "Leaders as role models and ‘belief managers’ in social dilemmas," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 321-334.
    20. Marcelo L. Bérgolo & Rodrigo Ceni & Guillermo Cruces & Matias Giaccobasso & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2017. "Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 23631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compliance; tax debt; shaming; enforcement; social image concerns; penalty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    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:zbw:hohdps:212018. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fwhohde.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fwhohde.html .

    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.