Media negativity bias and tax compliance: experimental evidence

Fišar, Miloš ORCID: and Reggiani, Tommaso and Sabatini, Fabio and Špalek, Jirí (2021) Media negativity bias and tax compliance: experimental evidence. International Tax and Public Finance. ISSN 1573-6970

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We study the impact of the media negativity bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action afects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are signifcantly more compliant than the control group. Instead, the exposure to negative news does not prompt any signifcant reaction compared to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants may perceive the media negativ‑ ity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news provision is a constant source of psy‑ chological priming and plays a vital role in taxpayers’ compliance decisions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Financial support from the Czech Science Foundation (Project No. GA17‑00496S) is gratefully acknowledged.
Keywords: Tax compliance, Media bias, Taxation game, Laboratory experiment
Classification Codes: JEL C91, D70, H26, H31
Divisions: Kompetenzzentren > Experimentalforschung
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 09:22
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 09:22


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