Public Choice

, Volume 155, Issue 3–4, pp 293–316 | Cite as

Progressive taxation and tax morale

  • Philipp Doerrenberg
  • Andreas PeichlEmail author


Due to strong evidence indicating that tax morale affects actual tax-paying behavior, finding the determinants of tax morale could help both to understand and to fight tax evasion. In this paper we analyze the effect of progressive taxation on individual tax morale using a cross-country approach—a research question that has not been investigated in the existing literature. Our theoretical analysis leads to two testable predictions. First, an individual’s tax morale is higher, the more progressive the tax schedule is. Second, the positive impact of tax progressivity on tax morale declines with income. In our empirical analysis we make use of a unique dataset of tax progressivity measures, namely the World Tax Indicators, and follow most of the tax morale literature by employing the World Values Survey to measure individual tax morale. Controlling for a wide range of potential confounders, we are able to confirm both hypotheses in our empirical analysis.


Tax morale Tax compliance Progressivity Taxation Redistribution 

JEL Classification

H26 H24 D7 D31 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences (CGS)University of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)BonnGermany
  3. 3.ISERColchesterUK
  4. 4.CESifoMunichGermany

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