14 January: Seminar Tax Authorities Interacting with Taxpayers. Enforcement or Cooperation?

Compliance and Enforcement

Seminar Series


The UvA Faculty of Law research program on Regulatory Dynamics of the Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE), and the VU Department of Criminal Law and Criminology cordially invite you to a lunch seminar with


Prof. Dr. Erich Kirchler
(Vice Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Deputy Head of the Department of
Economic Psychology, Education Psychology and Evaluations, University of Vienna)


Tax Authorities Interacting with Taxpayers.

Enforcement or Cooperation?


Introduction to the Seminar*

Most theoretical and empirical studies on tax behavior start from the assumption that taxpayers are reluctant to pay taxes and need to be enforced to cooperate by audits and fines in case of evasion. A review of theoretical approaches to tax behavior is presented, starting from the perception of taxpayers as rational agents confronted with decisions under uncertainty or in a social dilemma situation. Then psychological approaches are discussed and the concept of “psychological contract” and intrinsic motivation to cooperate. The slippery slope framework is presented as an attempt to integrate economic and psychological approaches to the understanding of tax behavior. It is argued that compliance can be either enforced or it is voluntary, depending on authorities’ manifestation of power or taxpayers’ trust in authorities’ benevolence. Several empirical studies are presented which only in part confirm the assumptions of the slippery slope framework and, thus, led to the re-formulation of the framework. The new concept distinguishes between coercive power and legitimate-expert power on one hand, and implicit and reason based trust on the other hand. Recently, a survey study in the Netherlands showed that legitimate-expert power and service orientation strengthen trust in authorities and are positively related to compliance.
(Note: This seminar presentation will be based on various studies and publications. The power point file only be distributed among confirmed seminar participants.)


About the Speaker

Erich Kirchler is Professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology. His research focuses on financial decisions in the household and tax behavior. He has published in leading international psychology journals such as The Journal of Applied Psychology, Applied Psychology: An International Review or the Journal of Economic Psychology, and is the author of “The Economic Psychology of Tax Behaviour” published by Cambridge University Press. Read more about Prof. Kirchler.

Date: 14 January 2013
Time: 11.45 – 13.15 (lunch seminar)
Location: University of Amsterdam (UvA) | Faculty of Law
Oudemanhuispoort location | Amsterdam
Room no.: Faculty Room (A1.01)
Information: Prof. Dr. Benjamin van Rooij | b.vanrooij@uva.nl
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