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Teaching the Economics of Income Tax Evasion


  • Cebula, Richard
  • Foley, Maggie


The purpose of this pedagogical study is to provide a straightforward and easily understood framework that can be used to teach the economic behavior underlying income tax evasion. We begin with presenting a brief background that reflects the research that had been done, especially for the case of the United States, on income tax evasion. This brief section is meant to provide the student with some overall perspective on the issue. Once this literature overview is completed, the main section of this study provides a framework, based in cost-benefit analysis, to enable the student to easily understand factors underlying personal income tax evasion.

Suggested Citation

  • Cebula, Richard & Foley, Maggie, 2013. "Teaching the Economics of Income Tax Evasion," MPRA Paper 56784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56784

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erard, Brian & Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-89.
    2. Richard J. Cebula, 2001. "Impact of income-detection technology and other factors on aggregate income tax evasion:the case of the United States," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(219), pages 401-415.
    3. Falkinger, Josef, 1988. "Tax Evasion and Equity: A Theoretical Analysis," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 43(3), pages 388-395.
    4. Cebula, Richard, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Government Tax and Auditing Policies on the Size of the Underground Economy: The Case of the United States, 1973-94," MPRA Paper 49810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 94-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    6. Feige, Edgar L, 1994. "The Underground Economy and the Currency Enigma," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 119-136.
    7. Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-383.
    8. Cebula, Richard, 1990. "A Note on Federal Budget Deficits and the Term Structure of Real Interest Rates in the United States," MPRA Paper 50238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Richard J. Cebula, 2004. "Income Tax Evasion Revisited: The Impact of Interest Rate Yields on Tax-Free Municipal Bonds," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 418-423, October.
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    More about this item


    underground economy; income tax evasion; pedagogy;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • M42 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Auditing

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