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 Property Tax Delinquency in Philadelphia: An Experimental Evaluation of Nudge Strategies|
with Robert Inman, Charles Loeffler, John MacDonald, Holger Sieg: w23243
Municipal governments commonly confront the problem of tardy or delinquent property tax payments. We implement an experiment in property tax collection for tardy taxpayers in the City of Philadelphia for the calendar year, 2015. The experiment sent one of seven reminder letters to the tardy taxpayers, testing the efficacy of a simple reminder, two alternative reminders stressing economic sanctions, and four alternative reminders emphasizing either that taxpayers receive neighborhood services or city-wide services for their tax payments, that most of their neighbors pay their taxes on time, or that as a citizen in a democracy it is a civic duty to pay taxes on time. Compliance behaviors were compared to a holdout sample that received no reminder letter. The most effective letters were t...
Published: Michael Chirico & Robert Inman & Charles Loeffler & John MacDonald & Holger Sieg, 2019. "Deterring Property Tax Delinquency in Philadelphia: An Experimental Evaluation of Nudge Strategies," National Tax Journal, vol 72(3), pages 479-506.
|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.