Tuesday, 04 June 2024
14:00 - 15:00

Talk by Jan Schmitz, Radboud University, Nijmegen (Netherlands)

Payroll tax evasion by firms is widespread and threatens the functioning of welfare systems in many countries around the world, yet very little is known about how to combat it. We report results from a large-scale RCT testing strategies to improve payroll tax compliance of small firms in a middle-income country. We randomize announced audit probabilities (1%, 10%, 40% or 60%) on the firm level and implement several novel types of moral appeals (varying information on the benefits of tax-financed public goods). Our monthly tax return data show that both deterrence and moral measures significantly improve payroll tax compliance. A high audit probability thereby generates 50% more additional tax revenue than moral appeals. An additional treatment with ambiguous audit probability shows that behavioral factors (such as probability neglect) play a minor role for increasing compliance in the deterrence treatments.


Swiss V-BEERS is organized by Manuel Grieder and Michael Kurschilgen from UniDistance Suisse, with the support of Holger Herz (Uni Fribourg) and Christian Zehnder (Uni Lausanne). The seminar aims to deepen the exchange between experimental and behavioral economists in Switzerland and beyond. You can find more information here: https://unidistance.ch/en/research/conferences/v-beers

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