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Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Legal Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information

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Traxler,  Christian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Fellner, G., Sausgruber, R., & Traxler, C. (2009). Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Legal Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-6DF0-8
Abstract
We run a large-scale natural eld experiment to evaluate alternative strategies to enforce compliance with the law. The experiment varies the text of mailings sent to potential evaders of TV license fees. We nd a strong e ect of mailings, leading to a substantial increase in compliance. Among di erent mailings, a threat treatment which makes a high detection risk salient has a signi cant deterrent e ect. Neither appealing to morals nor imparting information about others' behavior enhances compliance on aggregate. However, the information condition has a weak positive e ect in municipalities where evasion is believed to be common.