The Opinion of Italians on Tax Evasion

58 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2007

Date Written: February 2007


In this paper we use data from the Bank of Italy's Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) to study what Italian households think of tax evasion, and to estimate their propensity to evade taxes. This propensity turns out to be larger for the self-employed than for employees; within the group of employees, the propensity is higher for blue-collar workers than for white-collars workers. The propensity decreases with both education and age; it is higher in provincial capitals with higher unemployment and crime rates, and where social capital and the quality of public services are lower. The aversion to tax evasion turns out to be quite low across all social classes; this result suggests that mechanisms of general reprobation have a modest role in hampering tax evasion. Comparing SHIW data with those collected through a similar survey carried out by the Ministry of Finance, we find that the propensity to evade taxes has increased from 1992 to 2004.

Note: Downloadable document is in Italian.

Keywords: Tax evasion, Social norms, social capital

JEL Classification: H26, Z13

Suggested Citation

Cannari, Luigi and D'Alessio, Giovanni, The Opinion of Italians on Tax Evasion (February 2007). Bank of Italy Economic Research Paper No. 618. Available at SSRN: or

Luigi Cannari (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184

Giovanni D'Alessio

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma

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