Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/180224
Authors: 
Fochmann, Martin
Müller, Nadja
Overesch, Michael
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
arqus Discussion Paper 227
Abstract: 
As a consequence of the digital transformation, individuals are often confronted with prefilled forms or prefilled data entry masks. In situations where cheating and lying are of concern, prefilling and defaults might reduce dishonest behavior. In a controlled experiment, we investigate how correctly and incorrectly prefilled forms influence compliance behavior. We frame our experiment as filing the annual income tax return. We show that correct prefilling enhances compliance. However, in cases of incorrect prefilling, we observe asymmetric effects. If prefilled income is lower than true income, we find no positive compliance effect, and compliance is on the same level as with blank forms. If prefilled income is higher than true income, prefilling still has a positive effect on compliance. In that case, compliance is on the same level as with correctly prefilled forms and higher than with blank forms. Our study contributes to the literature on cheating and lying by showing that prefilled forms and defaults affect compliance by changing the moral costs of dishonest behavior.
Subjects: 
Dishonesty
Defaults
Prefilled Forms
Tax Compliance
Behavioral Economics
JEL: 
C91
D14
H26
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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