Customs Compliance and the Power of Imagination

30 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by Kai A. Konrad

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Tim Lohse

Berlin School of Economics and Law; Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Salmai Qari

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin School of Economics and Law

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Date Written: January 23, 2012

Abstract

This paper studies the role of beliefs about own performance or appearance for compliance at the customs. In an experiment in which underreporting has a higher expected payoff than truthful reporting we find: a large share, about 15-20 percent of the subjects, is more compliant if they have reason to imagine that their performance influences their subjective audit probability. In contrast, we do not find evidence for individuals who believe that by their personal performance they can reduce the subjective probability for an audit. Our results suggest that the power of imagination, i.e. the role of second-order beliefs in the process of customs declarations is important and may potentially be used to improve customs and tax compliance.

Keywords: customs, tax compliance, audit probability, second-order beliefs

JEL Classification: H260, H310, C910

Suggested Citation

Konrad, Kai A. and Lohse, Tim and Qari, Salmai, Customs Compliance and the Power of Imagination (January 23, 2012). CESifo Working Paper No. 3702, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1990188

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/home.cfm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

90-98 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7RR
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, 53072
Germany

Tim Lohse

Berlin School of Economics and Law ( email )

Badensche Strasse 50-51
Berlin, D-10825
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hwr-berlin.de/en/prof/tim-lohse

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/public_economics/research_affiliates/tim_lohse.cfm

Salmai Qari (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Berlin School of Economics and Law ( email )

Badensche Strasse 50-51
Berlin, D-10825
Germany

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