An experimental analysis of tax avoidance policies

Samreen Malik, Benedikt Mihm, Florian Timme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Policies to reduce aggressive tax avoidance are increasingly being implemented or discussed in many countries around the world. Tax authorities hope that such policies will generate new tax revenue by increasing overall tax compliance. We present an experimental design to investigate the effect of a stylized anti-avoidance tax policy on tax compliance behavior. We highlight that anti-avoidance tax policies that reduce tax avoidance can also induce an increase in tax evasion (“substitution effect”), which limits the additional tax revenue these policies will generate. We show that the degree of substitution depends crucially on behavioral factors such as tax morale. Policymakers therefore also need to consider behavioral features while designing such policies and estimating their potential effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-239
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Tax and Public Finance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Aggressive tax avoidance
  • Anti-avoidance tax rules (AAR)
  • Compliance
  • Tax evasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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