Tax Morale and Public Spending

Last registered on September 04, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Tax Morale and Public Spending
Initial registration date
September 01, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 04, 2023, 6:52 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Stanford University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
CREST - Ecole polytechnique - Institut polytechnique de Paris
PI Affiliation
CREST - ENSAE - Institut polytechnique de Paris
PI Affiliation
CREST - CNRS - Institut polytechnique de Paris

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Luttmer and Singhal (2014) describe tax morale as an “umbrella term capturing non-pecuniary motivations for tax compliance”. We define and measure four components of tax morale. We are interested in evaluating the causal effect of the opinion on public spending on tax morale. We will provide some information treatments to study to what extent perceptions can change after receiving new information on how public spending is controlled in France and if such information treatments will have an effect on the opinion on public spending and on tax morale.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Boyer, Pierre et al. 2023. "Tax Morale and Public Spending." AEA RCT Registry. September 04.
Experimental Details


We conduct a survey to measure tax morale and the potential social, economic, and ideological factors that can affect it.

To a treatment group, we show a video explaining the role and way of working of the Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes), which is a public institution responsible for controlling the use of public funds in France. It is independent from the legislative and executive branches of the French government.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are the tax morale measures, which directly come from specific questions in the survey. There are four tax morale measures:
1) Opinion on the overall level of taxes
2) Opinion on the personal level of taxes
3) Opinion on whether paying taxes is a “civic act”
4) Opinion on whether cheating on taxes is justified
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The survey will be conducted by a professional survey company among a representative sample of the French population.

The survey is structured as follows.

First step: the respondents answer a few questions about their knowledge and understanding about taxes.
Second step: the video is shown to the treatment group
Third step: the respondents answer the questions that are used to construct the tax morale measures.
Fourth step: the respondents are asked their opinion on public spending.
Fifth step: the respondents answer more questions on equity perception, economic behavior, tax evasion, and interactions with fiscal administration.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Subjects will be randomly assigned to the treatment or control groups using blocks on sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, socioeconomic status, district, city size) to ensure proper balance of these variables across experimental conditions.
Randomization Unit
Whole sample
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No cluster
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,000 people, 18+ years old
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1,000 control units / 1,000 treated units
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials