Joel Slemrod

Old George Orwell Got It Backward: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Tax Economics

Section: Papers from the CESifo Workshop on Behavioural Public Economics
FinanzArchiv (FA)

Volume 66 () / Issue 1, pp. 15-33 (19)

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It is entirely appropriate that the study of public finance take seriously »behavioral« inconsistencies with traditional models of individual and collective decision-making. This raises the question of whether the state should play a role in protecting individuals from themselves, and whether individuals are susceptible to manipulation, or even exploitation, by the people who comprise the state. In this essay I two aspects of this issue – tax complexity and tax compliance. In addressing these issues I ask, and offer some tentative answers to, what is distinctive about behavioral tax economics as a sub-field of behavioral economics and as a sub-field of tax economics.

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