Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/146441
Authors: 
Bosch Mossi, Mariano
Fernandes, Danilo
Villa, Juan M.
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IDB Working Paper Series IDB-WP-633
Abstract: 
This paper studies the first large scale effort by the Brazilian government to increase the social security compliance of self-employed workers using behavioral interventions. In 2014, the Brazilian Ministry of Social Security gradually delivered by postal mail a booklet reminding nearly 3 million self-employed workers their obligation to contribute to social security. We find that, sending the booklet increased payments by 15 percent and compliance rates by 7 percentage points. This increase is concentrated around the month the booklet was delivered and disappears three months after the intervention, a pattern known as action and backsliding. The relatively brief increase in payments outweighs the cost of sending the booklet by at least a factor of 2. Our results suggest that active behavioral interventions could be used as policy instruments that are orders of magnitude more cost-effective than subsides to increase social security contributions in developing countries, particularly for the self-employed.
Subjects: 
Behavioral interventions
Tax evasion
Informal Sector
Social Security and Pensions
JEL: 
D03
H26
H55
O17
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Creative Commons License: 
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/igo/legalcode
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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