The tax law, often perceived as very complicated, is predestined to provoke habitual misrepresentations and distortions in the cognitive system of information processing in order to reduce or functionally adapt to perceived complexities to make them more manageable. Although the actual perception of tax variables and tax behaviour is the focus of numerous studies, the causal interpretation of the distortions often tends to have a conjunctive character. Consequently, very few general implications for reality can derived. This dilemma of behavioural science research is the topic of this dissertation. It is designed as a three-part research cycle: a combination of experimental, empirical and theoretical studies. In Part A of the dissertation, an experimental study of the perception of tax subsidies is analysed, discussed and assessed from a meta-position. This analysis confirms a general distortion caused by framing effects and complexity. A distortion due to tax evasion however is to be rejected. Based on this, the baseline study in Part B is systematically replicated to verify the general tendency to distort. Completed by a theoretical argument for the necessity of direct comparative studies, the second part of the dissertation shows the phenomenon of fragile causalities and can also confirm the construction of the basic study. The preference structure of the examined subsidies, however, shows significant differences between the original and the replication studies. Finally, in Part C, the focus shifts from the causality of the line of argument to the concrete argumentation determinant of the tax evasion. The phenomenon of tax evasion is initially defined and analysed by means of emotional psychology. A valuation model is derived, which should make tax-evasive actions more tangible and interpretable. Including all partial results, the constructed research cycle concludes that in order to to overcome the dilemma of vague causal interpretations and fragile causalities, behavioral science tax research should extend the diametrical understanding of rational and irrational behaviour by assuming limited rational behaviour. Ultimately, the rational-irrational space expands to the heuristic area. In the specific case of tax evasion, the conceptual understanding is corrected for tax-evidencing tendencies.
|School:||Universitaet Bayreuth (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Economic theory, Finance|
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