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The impact of social pressure on tax compliance: A field experiment

Pietro Battiston and Simona Gamba

International Review of Law and Economics, 2016, vol. 46, issue C, 78-85

Abstract: We study the effect of social pressure on tax compliance, focusing on the compliance of shop sellers to the legal obligation of releasing tax receipts for each sale. We carry out a field experiment on bakeries in Italy, where a strong gap exists between the legal obligation and the actual behavior of sellers. Social pressure is manipulated by means of an explicit request for a receipt when not released. We employ an innovative approach to the identification of the treatment effect. We find that a single request for a receipt causes a 17 per cent rise in the probability of a receipt being released for a sale occurring shortly thereafter, causing on average more than two receipts to be released. We also find strong evidence of persistence in compliance decisions.

Keywords: Tax evasion; Field experiment; Peer pressure; Social pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 H32 K34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:46:y:2016:i:c:p:78-85

DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2016.03.001

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