Norms, Enforcement, and Tax Evasion
This paper studies individual and social motives in tax evasion. We build a simple dynamic model that incorporates these motives and their interaction. The social motives underpin the role of norms and is the source of the dynamics that we study. Our empirical analysis exploits the adoption in 1990 of a poll tax to fund local government in the UK, which led to widespread evasion. The evidence is consistent with the model's main predictions on the dynamics of evasion.
We are grateful to Juan Pablo Atal, Pierre Bachas, Richard Blundell, Tom Cunningham, Gabriel Zucman, and a number of seminar participants for helpful comments, to Dave Donaldson, Greg Kullman and Gordon Ferrier for help with data, and to the ERC, the ESRC, Martin Newson and the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations for financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.