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 J. List and R. Metcalfe and I. Vlaev},
  journal={NBER Working Paper Series},
  • Michael Hallsworth, J. List, +1 author I. Vlaev
  • Published 2014
  • Economics, Business
  • NBER Working Paper Series
  • Tax collection problems date back to the earliest recorded history of mankind. This paper begins with a simple theoretical construct of paying (rather than declaring) taxes, which we argue has been an overlooked aspect of tax compliance. This construct is then tested in two large natural field experiments. Using administrative data from more than 200,000 individuals in the UK, we show that including social norms and public goods messages in standard tax payment reminder letters considerably… CONTINUE READING
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