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I want to pay! - Identifying the Unconditional Tax Propensity (UTP)

Sandro Casal, Marco Faillo and Luigi Mittone

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022, vol. 197, issue C, 103-114

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to closely examine one of the potential drivers of tax morale: intrinsic motivations. Although frequently intended as a single concept, tax morale may take the form of an intrinsic motivation to comply, but can also arise through different channels, such as norms, peer effects, and bounded rationality. Often, these channels overlap, making it difficult to distinguish where the effect of one end and that of the other begins. Moreover, the concept of intrinsic motivation itself embodies different behavioral drivers. In two laboratory experiments, we investigate one of the several facets of intrinsic motivations which can be defined as Unconditional Tax Propensity (UTP). In the first experiment, we test the effect of UTP by avoiding other possible confounding factors such as prosociality, interactions with the experimenters, efficiency concerns, inequity aversion, and threats of enforcement mechanisms. The second experiment extends the research by introducing and considering enforcement mechanisms and deterrence. We do find clear evidence of individual tax propensity, which, in our setting, works on top of both a general sense of prosociality and deterrence threats.

Keywords: Tax compliance; Intrinsic motivations; Tax morale; Laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2022.02.023

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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