How does the progressivity of taxes and government transfers impact people’s willingness to pay tax? Experimental evidence across developing countries

Speaker: Chris Hoy (World Bank)

Date & time: Tuesday 24 May 2022, 2pm to 3.30pm (AEST)

Mode: Hybrid

We examine how the progressivity of taxes and government transfers impacts people’s willingness to pay tax through a randomized experiment with over 30,000 respondents across eight developing countries. Respondents increased (decreased) their willingness to pay taxes when they were randomly allocated to receive accurate information that taxes in their country are progressive (not progressive). These effects were predominantly driven by respondents in cases where the information they received was counter to their prior beliefs and/or consistent with their preferences. These results suggest reforms that increase (decrease) the progressivity of tax systems may also lead to increases (decreases) in tax compliance.

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