Christian Traxler Can Moral Suasion Effectively Induce Compliance with the Law?

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.

Area of Research

Cognitive Limitations and Biases, Economics of Crime, Nudges, Social Norms, Tax Evasion and Tax Enforcement

Steffen Altmann and Christian Traxler. "Nudges at the Dentist." European Economic Review 72 (2014): 19-38.  
Christian Traxler. "Majority Voting and the Welfare Implications of Tax Avoidance." Journal of Public Economics 96 (2012): 1-9.  
Johannes Rincke and Christian Traxler. "Enforcement Spillovers." Review of Economics and Statistics 93 (2011): 1224-1234.  
Sebastian Kube and Christian Traxler. "The Interaction of Legal and Social Norm Enforcement." Journal of Public Economic Theory 13 (2011): 639-660.  

since 2013

Professor of Economics

Hertie School of Governance (more details)

2011-2013

Professor of Economics

Philipp University of Marburg (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

2009

Visiting Fellow

University of Michigan

2007-2011

Senior Researcher

Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

2007

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Amsterdam

Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision‐Making (CREED)

2005-2007

Research Fellow

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Department of Economics

2006

PhD in Economics

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Munich Graduate School of Economics

2001

Diploma in Economics

University of Vienna

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

- AEJ: Applied Economics

- AEJ: Economic Policy

- American Journal of Political Science

- American Law and Economic Review

- B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

- Economic Journal

- Economics Bulletin

- Economics Letters

- European Economic Review

- European Journal of Political Economy

- European Review of Agricultural Economics

- FinanzArchiv

- Fiscal Studies

- Games and Economic Behavior

- International Tax & Public Finance

- Journal of Economics

- Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

- Journal of Economic Psychology

- Journal of Human Resources

- Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics

- Journal of Law, Economics and Organization

- Journal of Public Economics

- Journal of Public Economic Theory

- Journal of the European Economic Association

- Public Choice

- Energy Economics

- Scandinavian Journal of Economics

- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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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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.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10033

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

  • Gerlinde Fellner, Rupert Sausgruber and Christian Traxler
  • Journal of the European Economic Association
  • Published in 2013
Gerlinde Fellner, Rupert Sausgruber and Christian Traxler. "Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information." Journal of the European Economic Association 11 (2013): 634-660.