An Empirical Study of Tax Evasion Ethics in China
Andreas School of Business Working Paper Series
14 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2007
Date Written: September 2007
In 1944, Martin Crowe, a Catholic priest, wrote a doctoral dissertation titled The Moral Obligation of Paying Just Taxes. His dissertation summarized and analyzed 500 years of theological and philosophical debate on this topic, which identified three basic philosophical positions on the issue. Since Crowe's dissertation, not much has been written on the topic of tax evasion from an ethical or religious perspective.
The present paper is an empirical study, the goal of which is to determine the strength of the 15 arguments justifying tax evasion that Crowe identified. A survey was constructed using a seven-point Likert scale that included all three positions and all 15 arguments and distributed to 138 business and economics students at a university in Beijing, China. The 15 arguments were ranked in terms of strength, from strongest to weakest. Comparisons were also made according to student status and gender to determine if the viewpoints for these demographics were significantly different.
Keywords: tax evasion, ethics, China, gender
JEL Classification: O12,O17,O53,H26,H23,H24,H25,J16,D31,D63,K34,K42,M4
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