WIDER Seminar Series

Mazhar Waseem on pecuniary and non-pecuniary motivations for tax compliance: evidence from Pakistan

WIDER Seminar Series

Mazhar Waseem will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 9 October 2019. 

Abstract – Pecuniary and non-pecuniary motivations for tax compliance: evidence from Pakistan

We examine two Pakistani programs to explore the role of deterrence as well as social and

psychological factors in the tax compliance behavior of agents. In the first of these programs, the government began revealing income tax paid by every taxpayer in the country. The second program publicly recognizes and rewards the top 100 tax paying corporations, partnerships, self-employed individuals, and wage-earners. We find that both public disclosure and social recognition of top taxpayers caused a substantial increase in tax payments. We explore the drivers of this behavior, including the shift of social norms toward compliance.

About the speaker

Dr Mazhar Waseem is a lecturer in economics at Manchester University. Mazhar is a public finance economist with a special focus on taxation issues. His recent research exploits discontinuities created by tax systems and policy reforms to study behavioral responses to taxation and their implications for optimal tax policy in low enforcement capacity settings. In addition, he is interested in studying how the presence of informality affects the efficiency and compliance of modern broad-based taxes – income tax and VAT – in developing countries.

Before starting his research career, Mazhar served in the civil service of Pakistan as part of the Customs and Excise Service. His broader research interests lie in the areas of public economics, public finance, and development. He holds an MSc and a Ph. D in economics, both from the London School of Economics.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

For more information email richardson@wider.unu.edu