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Trust and Reciprocity Drive Social Common Goods Contribution Norms

Julia M. Puaschunder

Harvard University

December 12, 2012

In the emergent field of tax psychology, the focus on regulating tax evasion recently shifted towards searching for situational cues that elicit common goals compliance. Trust and reciprocity are argued to steer a socially-favorable environment that supports social tax ethics norms. Experiments, in which 256 participants played an economic trust game followed by a common goods game, found evidence for trust and reciprocity leading to individuals contributing to common goals. The more trust and reciprocity was practiced and experienced, the more common goals were supported – leveraging trust and reciprocity as interesting tax compliance antecedents. The results have widespread implications for governmental-citizen relations. Policy makers and public servants are advised to establish a service-oriented customer atmosphere with citizens breeding trust and reciprocity in order to reach common societal goals.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Common goods game, Common goals compliance, Reciprocity, Tax ethics, Trust, Trust game, Tax Psychology

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Date posted: December 13, 2012 ; Last revised: December 20, 2012

Suggested Citation

Puaschunder, Julia M., Trust and Reciprocity Drive Social Common Goods Contribution Norms (December 12, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2188638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2188638

Contact Information

Julia M. Puaschunder (Contact Author)
Harvard University ( email )
24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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