Nice Guys Finish Last: Do Honest Taxpayers Face Higher Tax Rates?

25 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2014

See all articles by Philipp Doerrenberg

Philipp Doerrenberg

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Denvil Duncan

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Clemens Fuest

ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich; Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; Center for Economic Studies (CES)

Andreas Peichl

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between ‘tax morale’ and tax policy. Using a unique cross‐country data set based on the World Values Survey and the World Tax Indicators, we find that income groups with high tax morale face higher average and marginal tax rates. We propose three possible mechanisms which could help to explain our results: i) an inverse elasticity argument where governments seek to minimize distortions, ii) a political economy argument where governments take voting behavior into account, and iii) an administrative costs argument where taxing high morale groups is more cost efficient.

Suggested Citation

Doerrenberg, Philipp and Duncan, Denvil and Fuest, Clemens and Peichl, Andreas, Nice Guys Finish Last: Do Honest Taxpayers Face Higher Tax Rates? (February 2014). Kyklos, Vol. 67, Issue 1, pp. 29-53, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2374199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12042

Philipp Doerrenberg (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 71
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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

Munich
Germany

Denvil Duncan

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Clemens Fuest

ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE 81679
Germany
++89-9224-1430 (Phone)

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich ( email )

Schackstrasse 4 / II
Munich, DE 80539
Germany

Center for Economic Studies (CES) ( email )

Schackstr. 4
Munich, DE 80539
Germany
++89 2180-2748 (Phone)
++89 2180-17845 (Fax)

Andreas Peichl

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL) ( email )

Mannheim 68131
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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