Social norms and tax compliance: Experiments and theory
EntidadUAM. Departamento de Análisis Económico, Teoría Económica e Historia Económica
EditorUAM. Departamento de Análisis Económico, Teoría Económica e Historia Económica
Fecha de edición2018
Serie/Núm.Economic Analysis Working Paper Series. 02/2018
Materiascorruption; evasion; peer effects; social norms; tax compliance; tax morale; Economía
We report data from an experiment in Peru where subjects anonymously decide how much of their endowment they donate to the Peruvian Government. The standard rational choice model and several well-known models of non-selfish preferences predict zero giving. Yet we observe that around 75% of the subjects give something (N = 164), with substantial heterogeneity. Our data is consistent with an account based on social norms: If compliance is not too costly, people comply with norms if (i) they perceive that such behavior sufficiently promotes social welfare and (ii) others are expected to respect norms as well (peer effects). Our paper contributes to a recent literature on tax morale emphasizing the importance of non-standard motivations on tax compliance and suggests that taxpayers are willing to give money to the government (e.g., paying taxes) if they believe that enough others give as well and that taxes are not wasted or ‘stolen’ by the government, but used to promote social welfare
Google Scholar:López Pérez, Raúl - Ramírez Zamudio, Aldo
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