Willing to Pay?: A Reasonable Choice Approach

ISBN : 9780198796824

Sven H. Steinmo; John D'Attoma
192 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Dec 2021
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Why do people in some societies tend to follow rules and obey the laws more than those in other societies? Is the difference institutional, or is 'culture' a better explanation? These are the central questions confronted in this book. This study explores these questions through a large laboratory experimental study which examined tax compliance behaviour in four countries: Sweden, Italy, Britain and the United States. We present what we call a 'Reasonable Choice Approach' demonstrating that most people are motivated to comply with social rules when the rules are clear, coherent, and consistent. This theory argues that most people are both rationally self-interested and social animals who have strong desires to behave according to the norms of their societies. Willing to Pay? demonstrates how institutions can shape individual behaviours and thereby help explain why social behaviours are so different across societies.


Willing to Pay? A Reasonable Choice Approach: Introduction
1 Why Should I Pay? A Cognitive Theory of Tax Morale
2 The Experimental Design
3 Reaonable Choices and Tax Compliance
Conclusion: Everyone Hates a Cheat

About the author: 

Sven H. Steinmo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado. He has received numerous awards including the ERC Advanced Researcher Frontier Grant, the Riker Award for the Best Book in Political Economy, the Gunnar Myrdal Prize for 'Best Book in Evolutionary Political Economy' (2011), and the Gabriel Almond Award for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics. His publications include The Leap of Faith (OUP, 2018), and The Evolution of Modern States (Cambridge University Press, 2010).; John D'Attoma is Assistant Professor of Politics and Taxation at the University of Exeter Business School. His research lies in the field of comparative political economy and employs a variety of methodological techniques to investigate the varied relationship between citizens and their states, and the what explains states' policy outcomes. Most recently, he has focused on taxation, tax behaviour, and mass budgetary preferences in Europe and America. He has published in numerous scholarly journals such as the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics, Polity, and the Journal of Public Policy.

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