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Understanding Cross-Cultural Dfferences in Peer Reporting Practices: Evidence from Tax Evasion Games in Moldova and France

Rostan Romaniuc, Dimitri Dubois (), Eugen Dimant, Adrian Lupusor and Valeriu Prohnitchi
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Rostan Romaniuc: CEREN - Centre de Recherche sur l'ENtreprise [Dijon] - BSB - Burgundy School of Business (BSB) - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon Bourgogne (ESC)
Dimitri Dubois: CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement
Eugen Dimant: University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia]
Adrian Lupusor: Expert-Grup
Valeriu Prohnitchi: Expert-Grup

CEE-M Working Papers from CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro

Abstract: Authorities rely on reporting from private citizens to detect and enforce more than a trivial portion of e ective law breaking. This article is the first to experimentally study the cultural aspect of peer reporting. By collecting data in a post-Soviet country (Moldova), we focus in particular on how the Soviet legacy of using citizens as private informants may have a long-lasting e ect on their willingness to cooperate with state authorities in present day; we then contrast these e ects with peer reporting behavior in a Western society (France). Our results suggest that participants in Moldova view the act of cooperating with central authorities as less socially acceptable than subjects in France and that participants in Moldova engage less frequently in peer reporting than participants in France. However, we also find that less reporting does not necessarily imply less tax compliance. Participants in both countries share very similar tax compliance rates. We explain the e ect of peer reporting on tax compliance in Moldova by the country's past experience during the Soviet era when being reported to central authorities was common and came with serious consequences for the person being denounced, ranging from shaming to expropriation.

Date: 2020-11-06
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