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The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Law, Business and Philosophy Students in China

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University

Zhiwen Guo

Hubei University

January 2006

The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic.

This paper begins with a review of the literature and identifies the main issues and summarizes the three main viewpoints that have emerged over the centuries. It then reports on the results of a survey of Chinese law, business and philosophy students who were asked their opinions on the ethics of tax evasion. The survey consisted of 15 statements, representing the 15 issues and 3 viewpoints that have emerged over the centuries. Participants were asked to signify the extent of their agreement with each statement by placing a number from 1 to 7 in the space provided. Two hundred fifty-six (256) usable responses were received. The data were then analyzed to determine which of the three viewpoints was dominant among the sample population. The three groups were compared to determine whether their responses were different. Male scores were also compared to female scores to determine if the responses differed by gender.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: tax evasion, evade, ethics, China

JEL Classification: H26, P35, O17, A13, E62, K34, O53

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Date posted: December 13, 2005  

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W. and Guo, Zhiwen, The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Law, Business and Philosophy Students in China (January 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=869304 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.869304

Contact Information

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)
Fayetteville State University ( email )
School of Business and Economics
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
Zhiwen Guo
Hubei University ( email )
No. 11, Xueyuan Lu, Wuchang
Wuhan, Hubei Province 430062
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