Cautionary Tales: Celebrities, the News Media, and Participation in Tax Amnesties

50 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Marcel Garz

Marcel Garz

Hamburg Media School

Verena Pagels

University of Hamburg - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 08, 2018

Abstract

This study uses an original state-level data set to investigate whether press coverage on trials for tax evasion by celebrities affects the likelihood that other tax payers participate in Germany’s tax amnesty program. To identify the causal effect, we use exogenous variation in the reporting, resulting from disasters and terrorist attacks that coincide with the celebrity trials. Instrumental variable estimates suggest that an increase in news coverage by the amount of an average trial raises participation in the tax amnesty program by approximately 22.5%.

Keywords: news coverage, public trial, self-denunciation, tax evasion

JEL Classification: D830, H260, K340, L820

Suggested Citation

Garz, Marcel and Pagels, Verena, Cautionary Tales: Celebrities, the News Media, and Participation in Tax Amnesties (January 08, 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6795, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122454

Marcel Garz (Contact Author)

Hamburg Media School ( email )

Hamburg Media School
Finkenau 35
Hamburg, Hamburg 22081
Germany

Verena Pagels

University of Hamburg - Department of Economics ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 5
room 2128 C rise
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

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