Media Bias and Tax Compliance: Experimental Evidence

30 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2020

See all articles by Miloš Fišar

Miloš Fišar

Masaryk University

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University

Fabio Sabatini

University of Rome I

Jiří Špalek

Masaryk University

Abstract

We study the impact of media bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action affects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are significantly more compliant than the control group. The exposure to negative news, instead, does not prompt any significant reaction in respect to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants perceive the media negativity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news act as a constant source of psychological priming and play a vital role in taxpayers' compliance decisions.

Keywords: tax compliance, media bias, taxation game, laboratory experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D70, H26, H31

Suggested Citation

Fišar, Miloš and Reggiani, Tommaso and Sabatini, Fabio and Špalek, Jiří, Media Bias and Tax Compliance: Experimental Evidence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12938, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534486

Miloš Fišar (Contact Author)

Masaryk University

Zerotinovo nam. 9
60177 Brno, 603 00
Czech Republic

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University ( email )

Zerotinovo nam. 9
60177 Brno, 603 00
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.muni.cz/en/people/241092-tommaso-reggiani

Fabio Sabatini

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
Rome, 00185
Italy

Jiří Špalek

Masaryk University

Zerotinovo nam. 9
60177 Brno, 603 00
Czech Republic

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