This paper studies the evasion of TV license fees in Austria. We exploit border differentials to identify the effect of fees on evasion. Comparing municipalities at the low- and high-fee side of state borders reveals that higher fees trigger significantly more evasion. The central estimate from a spatial regression discontinuity design indicates that a one percent increase in fees raises the evasion rate by 0.3 percentage points. The positive effect of fees on evasion is confirmed in different parametric and non-parametric approaches and survives several robustness checks.
Berger, Melissa, Gerlinde Fellner-Röhling, Rupert Sausgruber and Christian Traxler (2015), Higher Taxes, More Evasion? Evidence from Border Differentials in TV License Fees, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 15-008, Mannheim. Download