You've Got Mail: A Randomised Field Experiment on Tax Evasion

57 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2017

See all articles by Kristina Maria Bott

Kristina Maria Bott

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Erik Sorensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 11, 2017

Abstract

We report from a large-scale randomized field experiment conducted on a unique sample of more than 15 000 taxpayers in Norway, who were likely to have misreported their foreign income. We find that the inclusion of a moral appeal or a sentence that increases the perceived probability of detection in a letter from the tax authorities almost doubled the average self-reported Foreign income. The moral letter mainly works on the intensive margin, while the detection letter mainly works on the extensive margin. We also show that the detection letter has large long-term effects on tax compliance.

Keywords: Taxation, Tax Evasion, Field Experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D63, H26

Suggested Citation

Bott, Kristina Maria and Cappelen, Alexander W. and Sorensen, Erik and Tungodden, Bertil, You've Got Mail: A Randomised Field Experiment on Tax Evasion (June 11, 2017). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 10/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3033775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3033775

Kristina Maria Bott

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Alexander W. Cappelen (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Erik Sorensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

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