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The Impact of Social Pressure on Tax Compliance: a Field Experiment

Pietro Battiston () and Simona Gamba

No 2016-04, FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers from Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation

Abstract: We study the effect of social pressure on tax compliance, focusing on the compliance of shop sellers to the legal obligation of releasing tax receipts for each sale. We carry out a field experiment on bakeries in Italy, where a strong gap exists between the legal obligation and the actual behavior of sellers. Social pressure is manipulated by means of an explicit request for a receipt when not released. We employ an innovative approach to the identification of the treatment effect. We find that a single request for a receipt causes a 17 per cent rise in the probability of a receipt being released for a sale occurring shortly thereafter, causing on average more than two receipts to be released. We also find strong evidence of persistence in compliance decisions.

Keywords: Tax evasion; field experiment; peer pressure; social pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 H32 K34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-exp, nep-iue, nep-pub and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: The impact of social pressure on tax compliance: A field experiment (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Is Tax Compliance a Social Norm? A Field Experiment (2013) Downloads
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