Do Taxes Crowd Out Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany
Nadja Dwenger and
Johannes Rincke ()
No tax-mpg-rps-2014-23, Working Papers from Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance
This paper studies how imposing norms on contribution behavior affects individuals' intrinsic motivation. We consider an urban area in Germany where the Catholic Church collects a local church levy as a charitable donation, despite the fact that the levy is legally a tax. In cooperation with the church, we design a natural randomized field experiment with letter treatments informing individuals that the church levy is in fact a tax. Guided by a simple theoretical model, we use baseline contribution behavior to measure individuals' intrinsic motivation and demonstrate that treatment effects differ strongly across motivational types. Among weakly intrinsically motivated individuals, communicating the existence of a legal norm results in a significant crowd-out of intrinsic motivation. In contrast, strongly intrinsically motivated individuals do not show any treatment response. We cross-validate our findings using alternative motivational measures derived from an extensive post-treatment survey.
Keywords: intrinsic motivation; crowding out; charitable giving; taxes; public goods; natural randomized field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D03 H26 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-pbe, nep-pub and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.tax.mpg.de/RePEc/mpi/wpaper/TAX-MPG-RPS-2014-23.pdf Full text (original version) (application/pdf)
Working Paper: Do Taxes Crowd Out Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany (2015)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mpi:wpaper:tax-mpg-rps-2014-23
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Hans Mueller ().