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Evolution of Tax Evasion

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Abstract

In this paper we analyze a tax evasion game with taxpayer learning by imitation. If the authority commits to a fixed auditing probability, a positive share of cheating is obtained in equilibrium. This stands in contrast to the existing literature that yields full compliance of audited taxpayer who are rational, have a lot of information and thus do not need to interact. When the authority adjusts auditing probability every period, cycling in cheating-auditing occurs. Thus, the real life phenomenon of compliance fluctuations is explained within the model rather than by exogenous parameter shifts.

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