A Practical Guide to Setting Up your Tax Evasion Game

Antoine Malézieux


Over the last four decades, an important stream of literature has studied tax compliance behaviour in the laboratory through tax evasion games. In this review of over 70 papers, the main results are summarised, highlighting the most prominent features of tax evasion games. The results are interpreted in terms of laboratory tax compliance. Variables that have a positive impact on compliance are a non-student pool of subjects, a loaded frame, a directive way of asking for compliance, a progressive tax regime, redistribution of tax funds, endogenous audits, increased audit probability, larger fines and a one-off tax amnesty. Self-employed income and a complex tax system are expected to have a negative impact, while the impact of earned income, tax rates and public-good funds is unclear and deserves further investigation.

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