Published and Forthcoming Papers

We study the impact of the media negativity bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action affects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are signicantly more compliant than the control group. Instead, the exposure to negative news does not prompt any significant reaction compared to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants may perceive the media negativity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news provision is a constant source of psychological priming and plays a vital role in taxpayers' compliance decisions.

Periodic rotation of staff in public administration may lead to lower corruption, as it disrupts long-term relationships between public officials and potential bribers. We use an experimental design to test the anti-corruption effect of staff rotation in situations in which public officials have committed to reciprocating bribes. We find that staff rotation does not influence the proportion of firms offering bribes but reduces the share of bribe acceptance and inefficient decisions due to bribery. The outcome of the staff rotation treatment, in which firms offered bribes even though they were rarely accepted by officials, is consistent with the game having a quantal response equilibrium.

We elicit actions and beliefs in a framed corruption experiment enabling us to investigate how gender differences in corrupt behaviour relate to gender differences in both beliefs about the behaviour of others and the relationship between those beliefs and actions. We find that women are less likely to engage in costly punishment of corruption, and believe corruption to be more prevalent than men. Differences between the genders in the relationship between beliefs and actions provides evidence that men experience a greater psychological cost as a result of social sanctions. Controlling for beliefs and gender differences in sensitivity to beliefs we find that males are, in many instances, more likely to offer bribes, while females are less likely to conform to a norm of bribe-giving. This result was not apparent in the raw data, and highlights the importance of considering beliefs in corruption experiments.

The paper analyses public subsidies aimed to enhance development and innovation in the Slovakian private sector. The paper reviews theoretical approaches of the necessity of public support to research and development activities in order to increase private investment in research and development. An overview of research and development support tools in Slovakia is presented. The analytical part of the work is oriented on a comparative analysis of two granting agencies in Slovakia [Agency for Research and Development (ARD) and Agency of Operational Program Research and Development (OPRD)]. Special attention is given to direct public financial support. Logit analysis showed a relationship between success of grant applicants and their characteristics. We find that the following have impact on success of the application: Age of the company, amount of the grant required, legal form of the company, and the agency to which the application for grant was submitted. Applicants with legal form Ltd. (limited liability company) have a higher chance of receiving grant than other legal forms. The highest chance of success has a request for a grant of up to 500.000 €. According to the results of our analysis, the chance to obtain a grant decreases with each passing year.

Working Papers

We study the impact of media bias on tax compliance. Through a framed laboratory experiment, we assess how the exposure to biased news about government action affects compliance in a repeated taxation game. Subjects treated with positive news are significantly more compliant than the control group. The exposure to negative news, instead, does not prompt any significant reaction in respect to the neutral condition, suggesting that participants perceive the media negativity bias in the selection and tonality of news as the norm rather than the exception. Overall, our results suggest that biased news act as a constant source of psychological priming and play a vital role in taxpayers' compliance decisions.

The experimental tax and regulatory compliance literature has shown the effectiveness of competitive audit selection mechanisms (ASMs) based on declarations and a signal of the taxpayers' actual income. However, collecting information about actual income prior to audit selection is costly. In this article, we test the effectiveness of an endogenous ASM based solely on declared income. We show theoretically and in a laboratory experiment that this new endogenous ASM significantly increases compliance in comparison with an ASM where all taxpayers face audit with equal probability. However, a further consequence of conditioning solely on declared income is that poorer taxpayers are audited more frequently, reducing the effectiveness of this ASM in generating revenue and reducing inequality. We further compare the new mechanism with an ASM that also uses a noisy signal of actual income and show that it is a significant improvement over the other two ASMs in terms of compliance, revenue, and inequality. Our results suggest that ASMs that condition only on reported income can increase compliance but should be implemented with caution, and investing in acquiring information before audit selection can have substantial benefits.

Periodic rotation of staff in public administration may lead to lower corruption, as it disrupts long-term relationships between public officials and potential bribers. This paper proposes an~experimental design that tests the~anti-corruption effect of staff rotation in situations where public officials have committed to reciprocating bribes. We find that staff rotation does not influence the~proportion of firms offering bribes but does reduce the~share of bribe acceptance and inefficient decisions owing to bribery. The~outcome of the~staff-rotation treatment, in which firms offered bribes even though they were rarely accepted by officials, is consistent with the~game having a~quantal response equilibrium.

Work in Progress

  • Delegation and Overhead Aversion with Multiple Threshold Public Goods with Diya Abraham, Luca Corazzini, and Tommaso Reggiani

  • Conformity and Related Traits form the Shared Foundation of Left- and Right-wing Authoritarianism with Kyle Fischer, Ananish Chaudhuri, Chris G. Sibley, Jiří Špalek, James Tremewan, and Quentin D. Atkinson

  • Changes in Ritualized Behaviours during Menstrual Cycle with Eva Kundtová Klocová, Radek Kundt, Jan Krátký, Lubomir Cingl, Klára Marečkova, and Tommaso Reggiani

  • Human vs. Machine: the Role of (in-)Human Auditor in Taxation Game with Jiří Špalek, and James Tremewan

  • Riding the Cycle: Hormonal Determinants and Behavioural Decision‐Making with Lubomir Cingl, Jan Krátký, Radek Kundt, Eva Kundtová Klocová, Klára Marečková, and Tommaso Reggiani

  • Embezzlement and Corruption with David Masclet, Yvon Rocaboy, and Jiří Špalek

  • The Effects of Ritualized Behavior on Economic Decision Making under Stress with Lubomir Cingl, Jan Krátký, Martin Lang, Radek Kundt, Eva Kundtová Klocová, Klára Marečková, and Tommaso Reggiani

  • Priming by Environmental Cues with Jan Krátký, and Tommasso Reggiani