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The TARC & IQTE Partnership

TARC & IQTE Partnership

In September 2015, Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC) researchers from the University of Exeter embarked upon a research project in collaboration with members of the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics (IQTE) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, China. The title of this project is "Behavioural Compatibility between Individual Choice and Collective Action".

The project, which is receiving funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has been designed to deepen understanding of economic behaviour when heterogeneous agents interact within social and economic environments. The three-year programme incorporates a range of academic activities, including events and experiments, and is being jointly managed by Professor Christos Kotsogiannis from TARC and Professor Guocheng Wang from IQTE.


TARC carries out multi-disciplinary research into tax administration. The team at TARC includes researchers who are experts in experimental economics and the application of agent-based modelling. The centre has also pioneered the use of online experiments in collaboration with market research companies to target specific sectors of the population, and conducts research into computable general equilibrium.

IQTE acts as a "think tank" which supports state decisions on fiscal (tax) and financial policy-making in China. The team at IQTE have considerable expertise in using mathematical and interdisciplinary methods to study economic problems, and carry out significant research in the areas such as agent-based modelling (ABM), experimental economics, and game theory, with a view to enhancing economic development and social welfare.

Aims of the project

The key aims of the "Behavioural Compatibility between Individual Choice and Collective Action" research project include:

  • Gaining an improved understanding of how individual choices with behavioural preferences aggregate into social outcomes
  • Helping both TARC and IQTE researchers to develop their experience in applying various research methods to policy problems
  • Communicating the results of the research carried out to policy-makers in China and the UK, and to academics across the world

The researchers are focussing on five key areas:

  • The implementation of VAT in the financial sector
  • Consumption externalities in social networks and macroeconomic outcomes
  • Poverty reduction and the reduction of inequality
  • Public goods and public services
  • Investors' behaviour and the emergence of capital market