Axel Möhlmann

Persistence or Convergence? The East—West Tax-Morale Gap in Germany

Section: Articles
FinanzArchiv (FA)

Volume 70 () / Issue 1, pp. 3-30 (28)

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This paper studies differences in tax-morale attitudes between East and West Germany using multiple recent data sets. Contrary to previous 1990s evidence, but in line with recent studies on an east-west mentality gap, we find a persistent higher tax morale in East Germany and no indication of convergence over time. Distinguishing between region of living and birth reveals that East Germans who stayed determine the results and that migration reduces differences. Regional economic heterogeneity cannot explain the results, whereas historical patterns of religious denomination absorb part of the effect. An effect of question phrasing illustrates underlying moral reasoning.

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