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Is Tax Compliance a Social Norm? A Field Experiment

Pietro Battiston and Simona Gamba

No 249, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

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 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. This provides evidence of a social fiscal multiplier: on average, a single request for a receipt causes 2.38 additional receipts being released overall.

Keywords: Tax evasion; field experiments; social norms; social pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 H32 K34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29
Date: 2013-07, Revised 2013-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-iue, nep-pbe, nep-pub and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mib:wpaper:249

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