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Tax Avoidance, Endogenous Social Norms, and the Comparison Income Effect

Alessandro Balestrino

No 1758, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We present a model of income tax avoidance with heterogeneous agents, assuming the presence of a comparison income effect and of a psychic cost (disutility) of tax dodging. We analyse the policy preferences of the agents, and identify a median-voter political equilibrium. Paralleling previous results in the optimal taxation literature, we show that the comparison income effect calls for a high degree of progressivity of the income tax; additionally, we find that this tendence is strengthened by the psychic cost of avoidance. We then model the endogenous formation of the stigma attached to the act of avoidance as a "conformism game". We argue that such stigma is motivated by the desire to make redistribution more effective, and that it is enhanced by the income comparison effect.

Keywords: tax avoidance; social norms; conformism; comparison income; median voter (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe, nep-pol, nep-pub and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5)

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Related works:
Working Paper: Tax avoidance, endogenous social norms, and the comparison income effect (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Tax Avoidance, Endogenous Social Norms, and the Comparison Income Effect (2005) Downloads
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