Higher Taxes, More Evasion? Evidence from Border Differentials in TV License Fees

46 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015

See all articles by Melissa M Berger

Melissa M Berger

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Gerlinde Fellner-Röhling

University of Ulm - Department of Mathematics and Economics

Rupert Sausgruber

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics

Christian Traxler

Hertie School of Governance; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: January 31, 2015

Abstract

This paper studies the evasion of TV license fees in Austria. We exploit border differentials to identify the effect of fees on evasion. Comparing municipalities at the low- and high-fee side of state borders reveals that higher fees trigger significantly more evasion. The central estimate from a spatial regression discontinuity design indicates that a one percent increase in fees raises the evasion rate by 0.3 percentage points. The positive effect of fees on evasion is confirmed in different parametric and non-parametric approaches and survives several robustness checks.

Keywords: evasion, TV license fees, border tax differentials, regression discontinuity design

JEL Classification: H260, H270

Suggested Citation

Berger, Melissa M and Fellner-Röhling, Gerlinde and Sausgruber, Rupert and Traxler, Christian, Higher Taxes, More Evasion? Evidence from Border Differentials in TV License Fees (January 31, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5195. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562252

Melissa M Berger

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

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

Gerlinde Fellner-Röhling

University of Ulm - Department of Mathematics and Economics ( email )

Helmholzstrasse
Ulm, D-89081
Germany

Rupert Sausgruber

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, 1020
Austria
+43 1 31336 4572 (Phone)

Christian Traxler (Contact Author)

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Friedrichstrasse 180
Quartier 110
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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