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Fiscal Autonomy and Tax Morale: Evidence from Germany

PFM, Vol. 5 No. 4, (2005)

Why people pay their taxes voluntarily is a key puzzle in the public finance literature. Some
suggest that factors such as the level of tax morale, defined as the intrinsic motivation to pay
taxes, affects compliance behaviour. While there have been numerous studies that have explored
tax compliance or tax evasion, very few have explored the concept of tax morale in any detail. The
basic intention of the empirical part is to analyse how fiscal autonomy affects tax morale in
Germany. This also allows fill a gap in the tax compliance literature, which has rarely analysed
the impact of fiscal autonomy on tax compliance or tax morale. Strong evidence has been found
that a higher fiscal autonomy leads to a higher tax morale, controlling in a multivariate analysis
for additional factors.

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