Tax morale: Theory and empirical analysis of tax compliance

Searching for an adequate dissertation topic is always a difficult issue for a young researcher. We chose tax morale for several reasons. First of all, for a topic that is not so dependent on the current political process being less attractive in a couple of years. Taxation is an issue that has been relevant in the last 6000 years of human history and will continue to be relevant in the future. Taxation was insofar strategically interesting as my doctoral father, René L. Frey, has been an expert in this topic for many years.

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In a second step, what kind of topic might be interesting for research attempts, as taxation is a hugh area. The work for this book has been inspired and influenced by the work of Bruno S. Frey, as he was among the first researchers who systematically analysed the role of tax morale, stressing the relevance of deepening the research efforts to understand why people pay taxes.

Tax morale is an interesting topic, as it allows to check to which extent it makes sense to extend economics with aspects from other social sciences as, e.g., social psychology or sociology. The tax compliance literature is a good example for the fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue between different social sciences.

Furthermore, an attractive fact for a young scientist is that this topic allows to learn to deal with different instruments such as surveys, experiments, or even field experiments.