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Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties
Hamburg Media School and University of Hamburg, Germany.
Hamburg Media School and University of Hamburg, Germany.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, ISSN 0167-2681, E-ISSN 1879-1751, Vol. 155, p. 288-300Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates whether press coverage on celebrities with tax issues affects the behavior of other tax payers. We compile an original data set for Germany, including regional information on the amount of tax payers using amnesty regulations to voluntarily disclose taxes they have evaded. The data set also includes counts of news reports published by 6 national and 54 local newspapers that address celebrity tax evaders who were publicly tried between January 2010 and June 2016. We find a strong correlation between the amount of self-denunciations and the news coverage. To identify the causal effect, we use exogenous variation in the reporting, resulting from disasters and terrorist attacks that coincide with the celebrity trials. Instrumental variable estimates suggest that an increase in news coverage by the amount of an average trial raises participation in the tax amnesty program by approximately 22.5%. This finding helps to better understand the effectiveness of tax amnesties, and it illustrates the economic implications of publicly trying famous personalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 155, p. 288-300
Keywords [en]
News coverage, Public trial, Self-denunciation, Tax evasion
National Category
Economics Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41743DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.09.001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053851182OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41743DiVA, id: diva2:1252764
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2021-09-23 00:00
Available from 2021-09-23 00:00

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Garz, Marcel

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf