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    Tax Evasion and the Rule of Law in Latin America The Political Culture of Cheating and Compliance in Argentina and Chile

    ISBN-10: 0271035633
    ISBN-13: 9780271035635
    Author(s): Marcelo Bergman
    Description: Few tasks are as crucial for the future of democracy in Latin America-and, indeed, in other underdeveloped areas of the world-as strengthening the rule of law and reforming the system of taxation. In this book, Marcelo Bergman shows how success in  More...
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    Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
    Binding: Paperback
    Pages: 280
    Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.63" tall
    Weight: 0.066
    Language: English

    Few tasks are as crucial for the future of democracy in Latin America-and, indeed, in other underdeveloped areas of the world-as strengthening the rule of law and reforming the system of taxation. In this book, Marcelo Bergman shows how success in getting citizens to pay their taxes is related intimately to the social norms that undergird the rule of law. The threat of legal sanctions is itself insufficient to motivate compliance, he argues. That kind of deterrence works best when citizens already have other reasons to want to comply, based on their beliefs about what is fair and about how their fellow citizens are behaving. The problem of "free riding," which arises when cheaters can count on enough suckers to pay their taxes so they can avoid doing so and still benefit from the governments supply of public goods, cannot be reversed just by stringent law, because the success of governmental enforcement ultimately depends on the social equilibrium that predominates in each country. Culture and state effectiveness are inherently linked. Using a wealth of new data drawn from his own multidimensional research involving game theory, statistical models, surveys, and simulations, Bergman compares Argentina and Chile to show how, in two societies that otherwise share much in common, the differing traditions of rule of law explain why so many citizens evade paying taxes in Argentina-and why, in Chile, most citizens comply with the law. In the concluding chapter, he draws implications for public policy from the empirical findings and generalizes his argument to other societies in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

    Marcelo Bergman is Associate Professor in the Department of Legal Studies at CIDE in Mexico City and the director of PESED (Program for the Study of Security and the Rule of Law). He has served as a consultant to tax administrations in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.

    List of Figures and Tables
    Preface and Acknowledgments
    Introduction
    Compliance and Enforcement
    Measuring Tax Compliance in Chile and Argentina
    Taxpayers' Perceptions of Government Enforcement
    General Deterrence: Impunity and Sanctions in Taxation
    Specific Deterrence and Its Effects on Individual Compliance
    The Role of Trust, Reciprocity, and Solidarity in Tax Compliance
    Social Mechanisms in Tax Evasion and Tax Compliance
    Conclusion: Tax Compliance and the Law
    On the Data
    A Game Theory Approach to the Logic of Tax Compliance
    A Simulative Game: The Effects of Enforcement
    The State, the Law, and the Rule of Law
    References
    Index

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