We experimentally investigate how the level of government (either federal or state) and whether funding is being allocated to enforcement or service efforts in a revenue agency affects trust in the agency, as well as support for the funding initiative. We find that the two independent variables interact, such that trust in the state agency is not affected by whether the proposed funding would be allocated to service or enforcement efforts. But, at the federal level (the Internal Revenue Service), trust in the agency is significantly higher when the proposed funding is to hire additional service employees as opposed to hiring additional enforcement employees. We also find that the level of government moderates the mediating effect of trust in the agency on the relation between the use of funds and support for the funding.
We thank Tim Bauer, Cynthia Blanthorne, Donna Bobek-Schmitt, Bonnie Brown, Andrew Cuccia, Diana Falsetta, Jonathan Farrar, Kamber Hetrick, Michaele Morrow, Josh Simer, and the participants at the 2018 Behavioral Tax Symposium for helpful comments on a previous version of this proposal and instrument.
Hausserman, C., Jurney, S. and Rupert, T. (2020), "The Effects of Level of Government and Use of Funds on Trust in Revenue Agencies", Hasseldine, J. (Ed.) Advances in Taxation (Advances in Taxation, Vol. 28), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1058-749720200000028001
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