The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Law, Business and Philosophy Students in China
17 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2005
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: tax evasion, evade, ethics, China
JEL Classification: H26, P35, O17, A13, E62, K34, O53
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