The Ethics of Tax Evasion

27 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2011

See all articles by Philipp Bagus

Philipp Bagus

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - Department of Applied Economics

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business

Marian Eabrasu

École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) de Troyes

David Howden

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeremie Rostan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: Autumn 2011

Abstract

A wide and growing consensus views taxation as fundamentally coercive in nature. Regardless of the magnitude of the tax or the agents perpetrating it, this fundamental coercive element remains. Tax evasion must consequently be treated as an effort to convert this coercive behavior into voluntary transactions. By altering the conditions of payment and receipt of goods and services, taxation veils both consumers' and producers' preferences. Critics of tax evasion have left unanswered the question as to how society will efficiently allocate its scarce resources under coercively falsified preference signals. Accepting that preferences are best signaled voluntarily and via market participants directly, we argue that tax evasion must result in increased economic efficiency, as well as allow for a reinstatement of an individual's right to contract freely.

Suggested Citation

Bagus, Philipp and Block, Walter E. and Eabrasu, Marian and Howden, David and Rostan, Jeremie, The Ethics of Tax Evasion (Autumn 2011). Business and Society Review, Vol. 116, Issue 3, pp. 375-401, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1921693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8594.2011.00390.x

Philipp Bagus (Contact Author)

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Mostoles - Madrid, E-28933
Spain

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business ( email )

6363 St. Charles Avenue
Box 15, Miller 321
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504) 864-7944 (Phone)
(504) 864-7970 (Fax)

Marian Eabrasu

École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) de Troyes

217 Avenue Pierre BROSSOLETTE
Troyes, 10002
France

David Howden

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Jeremie Rostan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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