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How do Taxpayers Respond to Public Disclosure and Social Recognition Programs? Evidence from Pakistan

Joel Slemrod (), Obeid Ur Rehman and Mazhar Waseem

No 8152, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We examine two Pakistani programs to see if the public disclosure of tax information and social recognition of top taxpayers promote tax compliance. Pakistan began revealing income tax paid by every taxpayer in the country from 2012. Simultaneously, another program began recognizing and rewarding the top 100 tax paying corporations, partnerships, self-employed individuals, and wage-earners. We find that both programs induced strong compliance responses. The public disclosure caused on average a 9 log-points increase in the tax paid by individuals exposed to the program. The increase was even larger for the social recognition program, around 17 log-points. Our results suggest that such programs can be important policy levers to mobilize resources, especially in weak-enforcement-capacity economies.

Keywords: tax evasion; income tax; social norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H24 H25 H26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-iue, nep-pbe and nep-pub
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