Cinzia Castiglioni, Edoardo Lozza, John Cullis, Philip Jones, Alan Lewis

Is benefit fraud more or less wrong than tax evasion? An exploratory study in the perspective of fiscal psychology

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Fiscal Psychology; Taxation; Fine; Tax Evasion; Benefit Fraud.

Economic psychology has traditionally focused on tax evasion, neglecting other «public finance» offences such as benefit fraud; the present paper, therefore, aims to perform a first exploratory study on this subject. Questionnaire data collected from a sample of Italian and English students show that, considering an equal economic value, tax evasion and benefit fraud are perceived differently. In particular, participants tend to be more strict with benefit fraud and more lenient with tax evasion; moreover, tax evasion is perceived as a less serious offence compared to other illicit behaviours (including non-fiscal offences). Also, several differences were found comparing two different cultural contexts (Italy and UK). Finally, the article highlights strengths, limitations and future directions of the study.

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