Journal of Business Ethics 47 (2):133 - 145 (2003)

Friendly persuasion, in contrast to deterrent measures like tax audits and penalties on underreported taxes, is a positive and possibly a cost effective method of increasing taxpayer compliance. However, prior studies have failed to show that friendly persuasion has a significant impact on compliance (Blumenthal et al., 2001; McGraw and Scholz, 1991). In our study, in contrast to prior studies, we examine the impact of generating and reading reasons supporting compliance as friendly persuasion on individuals' income reporting behavior as well as control for gender effects. Specifically, we predict an interaction effect between friendly persuasion and gender on compliance behavior. We carried out a 2 (friendly persuasion and control) × 2 (men and women) full factorial experiment, where participants earned $30 by completing two questionnaires. Participants in the friendly persuasion group were required first to generate and second to read a list of reasons why they should comply fully. Afterwards, participants in both groups were asked to report the income they earned and pay tax on the reported income. The results show a significant main effect for gender as well as a significant interaction effect between gender and friendly persuasion on income reported. Women in the friendly persuasion group reported significantly higher income compared to men in that group. Other comparisons were not significant. Policy implications for increasing taxpayers' ethics and compliance are highlighted.
Keywords generating and reading reasons  income tax reporting  normative appeals  personal consequences
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1026004716676
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,261
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Tax Avoidance as a Sustainability Problem.Robert Bird & Karie Davis-Nozemack - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 151 (4):1009-1025.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
48 ( #224,763 of 2,456,035 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #303,388 of 2,456,035 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes