The Behavioralist as Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance

  title={The Behavioralist as Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance},
  author={Michael Hallsworth and John A. List and Robert D. Metcalfe and Ivo Vlaev},
  journal={NBER Working Paper Series},

How can we increase tax compliance ? Evidence from two natural field experiments *

Accountants have long been interested in the drivers of tax compliance; however, empirical challenges have impeded a deep understanding of what motivates people and organizations to fulfil their tax

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Tax evasion is a pervasive problem in many countries. In particular, some developing countries do not collect even half of what they would if taxpayers complied with the written letter of the law.


The fundamental difficulty in empirical work on taxpayer compliance is the absence of detailed and reliable information on individual compliance choices. This paper uses data from laboratory