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Effects of institutional history and leniency on collusive corruption and tax evasion

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  • Johannes Buckenmaier
  • Eugen Dimant
  • Luigi Mittone

Abstract

We investigate the effects of an institutional mechanism that incentivizes taxpayers to blow the whistle on collusive corruption and tax compliance. We explore this through a formal leniency program. In our experiment, we nest collusive corruption within a tax evasion framework. We not only study the effect of the presence of such a mechanism on behavior, but also the dynamic effect caused by the introduction and the removal of leniency. We find that in the presence of a leniency mechanism, subjects collude and accept bribes less often while paying more taxes, but there is no increase in bribe offers. Our results show that the introduction of the opportunity to blow the whistle decreases the collusion and bribe acceptance rate, and increases the collected tax yield. It also does not encourage bribe offers. In contrast, the removal of the institutional mechanism does not induce negative effects, suggesting a positive spillover effect of leniency that persists even after the mechanism has been removed.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Buckenmaier & Eugen Dimant & Luigi Mittone, 2018. "Effects of institutional history and leniency on collusive corruption and tax evasion," ECON - Working Papers 295, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:295
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    Cited by:

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    2. Dimant, Eugen, 2019. "Contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior among peers and the role of social proximity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 66-88.
    3. Rostan Romaniuc & Dimitri Dubois & Eugen Dimant & Adrian Lupusor & Valeriu Prohnitchi, 2020. "Understanding Cross-Cultural Dfferences in Peer Reporting Practices: Evidence from Tax Evasion Games in Moldova and France," Working Papers hal-02991776, HAL.
    4. DeAngelo, Gregory & Houser, Daniel & Romaniuc, Rustam, 2020. "Experimental public choice: An introduction to the special issue," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 278-280.
    5. Antinyan, Armenak & Corazzini, Luca & Pavesi, Filippo, 2020. "Does trust in the government matter for whistleblowing on tax evaders? Survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 77-95.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collusive bribery; institutions; tax compliance; leniency; spillover;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • 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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