Education Level and Ethical Attitude Toward Tax Evasion: A Six-Country Study

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University

Adriana Ross

Florida International University (FIU)

March 17, 2014

The purpose of this study is twofold – to review and summarize the findings of more than 30 prior studies that surveyed student opinions on the ethics of tax evasion, and to expand on that literature by examining the relationship between level of education and views on the ethics of tax evasion using a larger, more heterogeneous demographic. A number of surveys of student opinion have been conducted, both in the United States and elsewhere, soliciting the opinions of various student groups on the ethics of tax evasion. Students in various disciplines and students at various levels of education (graduate and undergraduate) were asked their opinions regarding when tax evasion could be justified on ethical grounds. The present study summarizes and analyzes those findings for the first time. The second part of the paper uses the Human Values data that was gathered by social scientists in Brazil, Russia, India, China, the USA and Germany and examines the relationship between level of education and attitude toward tax evasion, using a 10-point Likert Scale. An analysis of the data found that education level does make a difference in attitude toward tax evasion, as do gender and age, in some cases. A bibliography of further reading is also included, along with links to more than 80 other tax evasion studies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: tax evasion, ethics, empirical study, demographic variables, gender, age, education level, employment status, income level, occupation, marital status, family size, religion, size of town, social class, happiness, health, political spectrum, income inequality, competition, confidence in government

JEL Classification: H26, A13, A14, D63, E26, I1, I2, J1, J12, J14, J16, K34, K42, M4, O17, O52, Y5

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Date posted: March 21, 2014  

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W. and Ross, Adriana, Education Level and Ethical Attitude Toward Tax Evasion: A Six-Country Study (March 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2410582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2410582

Contact Information

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)
Fayetteville State University ( email )
School of Business and Economics
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
Adriana Ross
Florida International University (FIU) ( email )
University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States
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