Quotation Fellner-Röhling, Gerlinde, Sausgruber, Rupert, Traxler, Christian. 2013. Testing enforcement strategies in the field: Threat, moral appeal and social information. Journal of the European Economic Association. 11 (3), 634-660.




We run a large-scale natural field experiment to evaluate alternative strategies to enforce compliance with the law. The experiment varies the text of mailings sent to potential evaders of TV license fees. We find a strong effect of mailings, leading to a substantial increase in compliance. Among different mailings, a threat treatment which makes a high detection risk salient has a significant deterrent effect. Neither appealing to morals nor imparting information about others’ behavior enhances compliance on aggregate. However, the information condition has a weak positive effect in municipalities where evasion is believed to be common.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of the European Economic Association
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, VW-A, WH-A
Language English
Title Testing enforcement strategies in the field: Threat, moral appeal and social information
Volume 11
Number 3
Year 2013
Page from 634
Page to 660
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jeea.12013
Open Access N


Fellner-Röhling, Gerlinde (Details)
Sausgruber, Rupert (Details)
Traxler, Christian (Hertie School, Germany)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5311 Public finance (Details)
5335 Political economic theory (Details)
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