Department of Economics
University of Pennsylvania
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6286
Institutional Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2017||Deterring Tax Delinquency in Philadelphia|
with Robert Inman, Charles Loeffler, John MacDonald, Holger Sieg: w23243
Municipal governments commonly confront problems with property tax collection. We model tardy taxpayers as procrastinators that have a present bias. Late payments arise due to lack of salience, lack of deterrence or lack of tax morale. To test the importance of the different theoretical explanations, we developed and implemented a randomized controlled experiment conducted with the City of Philadelphia. The structure of the experiment allows us to identify the relative importance of the three key sets of parameters of our model. We find that lack of salience and lack of deterrence are key components of non-compliance behavior.
|June 2014||An Experimental Evaluation of Notification Strategies to Increase Property Tax Compliance: Free-Riding in the City of Brotherly Love|
with Robert P. Inman, Charles Loeffler, John MacDonald, Holger Sieg
in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 30, Jeffrey R. Brown, editor
This study evaluates a set of notification strategies intended to increase property tax collection. To test these strategies, we develop a field experiment in collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Revenue. The resulting notification strategies draw on core rationales for tax compliance: deterrence, the need to finance the provision of public goods and services, as well as an appeal to civic duty. Our empirical findings provide evidence that carefully designed and targeted notification strategies can modestly improve tax compliance.