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You’ve Got Mail: A Randomized Field Experiment on Tax Evasion

Kristina M. Bott (), Alexander Cappelen (), Erik Ø. Sørensen () and Bertil Tungodden ()
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Kristina M. Bott: Centre for Experimental Research on Fairness, Inequality and Rationality—The Choice Lab, Norwegian School of Economics, 5045 Bergen, Norway
Erik Ø. Sørensen: Centre for Experimental Research on Fairness, Inequality and Rationality—The Choice Lab, Norwegian School of Economics, 5045 Bergen, Norway

Management Science, 2020, vol. 66, issue 7, 2801-2819

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. By randomly manipulating a letter from the tax authorities, we cleanly identify that moral suasion and the perceived detection probability play a crucial role in shaping taxpayer behavior. The moral letter mainly works on the intensive margin, while the detection letter has a strong effect on the extensive margin. We further show that only the detection letter has long-term effects on tax compliance.

Date: 2020
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https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2019.3390 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: You’ve got mail: A randomised Field experiment on tax evasion (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: You've Got Mail: A Randomised Field Experiment on Tax Evasion (2017) Downloads
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