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Self-Concept Maintenance and Tax Evasion

Francesco Flaviano Russo ()
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Francesco Flaviano Russo: Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF

CSEF Working Papers from Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy

Abstract: I analyze quasi-experimental data on tax evasion reports collected by the Italian webpage I find that a bigger number of reports per unit of irregular activity, which indicates a stronger tax morale, is negatively correlated with the median reported amount. I show that this evidence is consistent with a model of self-concept maintenance, where illegal actions are categorized more easily, in the sense that they are consistent with a positive self image of honesty, if they involve small amounts of money. The data suggest that a stronger individual and social attitude towards evasion makes this categorization more difficult, lowering the threshold below which evasion is acceptable. The result is tax evasion reports of smaller amount. I also propose a Montecarlo exercise to estimate this threshold and its dependence on tax morale.

Keywords: Tax morale; Categorization; Attention to Standard. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H26 K34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-05-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-iue, nep-law and nep-pbe
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