Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Polo Santa Marta, Via Cantarane 24, Sala Vaona
We study the long run persistence of fiscal compliance behavior at the local level in Italy. Starting from what we document to be one of the main permanent institutional traits of the enforcement system in this country after its unification in 1861, i.e. the decentralization of tax collection and fiscal jurisdiction, we build up a model of tax evasion dynamics, in the presence of a local enforcement externality and social learning by taxpayers. We show conditions under which the model features path dependence of compliance behavior. The long-run persistence of relatively large differences in compliance, among districts of the same country, is the main empirical implication. Evidence regarding tax evasions in Italy consistent with such prediction is reported.