Implicit Attitudes and U.S. Tax Professionals’ Reliance on Offshore Tax Professionals’ Recommendations

48 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020

See all articles by Brian C. Spilker

Brian C. Spilker

Brigham Young University

Bryan W. Stewart

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

David A. Wood

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: August 5, 2020

Abstract

Large accounting firms offshore a significant amount of tax work to professionals in India. Prior research suggests that individuals can have negative implicit attitudes toward people from different nationalities and that negative implicit attitudes can have undesired consequences. In this study, we measure a sample of U.S. tax professionals’ implicit attitudes toward Indian persons using an implicit association test (IAT) and assess whether the U.S. tax professionals respond differently to work produced by Indian versus U.S. tax professionals and whether implicit attitudes affect the U.S. professionals’ assessments of Indian tax professionals’ work product. We document that participants in our study have strong negative implicit attitudes toward Indian persons relative to U.S. persons. Conversely, we find similar reliance on and evaluation of U.S. and Indian work products, suggesting that the negative implicit attitudes observed have no relation to any of the variable measures we collect. Participants appear able to rise above their negative implicit attitudes and perform their tax work without bias in our experiment. However, it is important to acknowledge that negative implicit attitudes may result in biased behavior towards others in contexts outside of our experiment.

Keywords: India, Offshoring, Tax, Implicit attitudes, Implicit Attitude Test (IAT)

JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M55, H2, H20, C9, C90

Suggested Citation

Spilker, Brian and Stewart, Bryan W. and Wood, David A., Implicit Attitudes and U.S. Tax Professionals’ Reliance on Offshore Tax Professionals’ Recommendations (August 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3667785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3667785

Brian Spilker

Brigham Young University ( email )

Marriott School of Management 523 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-378-4644 (Phone)
801-378-5933 (Fax)

Bryan W. Stewart

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-5601 (Phone)

David A. Wood (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

518 TNRB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8642 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/employee/employee.cfm?emp=daw44

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