Views Toward Tax Evasion: A Comparative Study of Moldova and Romania
Robert W. McGee
Fayetteville State University
May 3, 2009
Florida International University Chapman Graduate School of Business Working Paper
The IUP Journal of Public Finance, Vol. VII, Nos. 3 & 4, pp. 7-24, August & November 2009
There was a two-fold purpose in writing this paper. The main purpose was to discover how the populations of Moldova and Romania view tax evasion and whether opinions varied based on demographics. The second purpose, which may be more interesting from a sociological and political perspective, is whether opinions differed by country. What is now Moldova used to be part of Romania before the Soviets incorporated it into the Soviet Union. We wanted to see whether, after two generations of Soviet rule, attitudes toward tax evasion in Moldova had become different from attitudes in Romania. This study incorporates data collected as part of a much larger study on human beliefs and values. Respondents were asked whether cheating on taxes would be justified if they had the opportunity to evade taxes. Respondents were asked to choose a number from 1 to 10, where 1 indicates never justifiable and 10 indicates always justifiable. The present study examined results by gender, age, level of education, and marital status for the populations of Moldova and Romania. The sample size was 2012. The study found that Romanians are more opposed to tax evasion than are Moldovans, overall; gender did not make a difference in either country; Romanians become more opposed to tax evasion as they get older but Moldovans in the 30-49 age group are more opposed to tax evasion than are younger and older people; the most educated group of Moldovans is more opposed to tax evasion than are the other two groups but the middle educated group in Romania is less opposed to tax evasion than either the more or less educated group; married people oppose tax evasion more than do single people in both countries. Although the research is limited to Moldova and Romania, one could extrapolate that attitudes in former Soviet republics might closely mirror those of Moldova and attitudes of former Soviet bloc countries might closely mirror those of Romania, although any such conclusions must be tentative and subject to further research. The study found that certain demographics made a difference while other demographic factors did not, which has implications for the public finance literature in general. This is the first study that has ever been done comparing attitudes toward tax evasion in Moldova and Romania. It also adds to the small body of literature that compares attitudes toward tax evasion based on demographics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: tax evasion, Moldova, Romania, ethics, gender, age, education, marital status
JEL Classification: E62, J16, J14, J1, K34, K42, M14, M4, O52, P35Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 8, 2009
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