Economics at your fingertips  

Tax Evasion and the Importance of Trust

Henrik Hammar, Sverker Jagers () and Katarina Nordblom ()
Additional contact information
Sverker Jagers: Department of Political Science, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG

No 179, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: Unless people pay the taxes they are obliged to pay, a general welfare state will eventually collapse. Thus, for the welfare state to survive in the long run, tax compliance is of utmost importance. Using Swedish individual survey data we analyze which factors affect the perception of tax evasion. The analysis is conducted on ten different taxes and the results differ widely. Hence, we show that it is important to study different taxes separately rather than treating tax evasion as one common phenomenon. In this paper we focus on the importance of different kinds of trust. Whether or not people in general are regarded as trustworthy only has a minor impact on perceived tax evasion. Instead, what matters is trust or distrust in politicians. People who distrust the parliament are more likely than others to think that tax evasion is common, and the result holds for most of the taxes studied. This may have severe long-run consequences for the welfare state. If people stop trusting their leading politicians, social norms about tax compliance deteriorate and the possibilities of collecting taxes for maintain- ing the welfare state are reduced.

Keywords: trust in politicians; generalized trust; social capital; general welfare state; tax policy; tax compliance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H11 H26 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe, nep-pol, nep-pub and nep-soc
Date: 2005-09-27
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Journal of Socio-Economics, 2009, pages 238-245.

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden. Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Marie Andersson ().

Page updated 2018-01-23
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0179