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In the large-scale natural field experiment presented in this video different treatments to induce compliance with the law were tested: Potential evaders of TV license fees in Austria received different mailings – one presenting the prospects of financial and legal consequences, one appealing to morals and one communicating high compliance rates. CHRISTIAN TRAXLER explains that only the threat of consequences had a significant deterrent effect whereas neither of the two other mailings significantly affected compliance rates.


Christian Traxler is Professor of Economics at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and a Research Affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn. His fields of research are public economics, the economics of crime, and behavioral economics.

Traxler was a Visiting Fellow at the Office of Tax Policy Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Post-Doc at the Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making, University of Amsterdam.


Hertie School of Governance

The Hertie School of Governance is a private university based in Berlin, accredited by the State and the German Science Council. Interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and an extensive international network set the Hertie School apart and position it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The School was founded at the end of 2003 as a project of the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major partner. (Source: Hertie School of Governance)
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Original publication

Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information

Traxler Christian, Fellner Gerlinde and Sausgruber Rupert
Journal of the European Economic Association
Published in 2013

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