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Media negativity bias and tax compliance: Experimental evidence

Miloš Fišar (), Tommaso Reggiani (), Fabio Sabatini () and Jiří Špalek ()

No E2021/26, Cardiff Economics Working Papers from Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section

Abstract: We study the impact of the media negativity bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action affects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are signicantly more compliant than the control group. Instead, the exposure to negative news does not prompt any significant reaction compared to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants may perceive the media negativity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news provision is a constant source of psychological priming and plays a vital role in taxpayers' compliance decisions.

Keywords: tax compliance; media bias; taxation game; laboratory experiment. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D70 H26 H31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 69 pages
Date: 2021-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-iue, nep-pbe, nep-pub and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Media negativity bias and tax compliance: experimental evidence (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Media negativity bias and tax compliance: Experimental evidence (2021) Downloads
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