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The Role of the Media in Shaping Attitudes Toward Corporate Tax Avoidance: Experimental Evidence from Ireland

Author

Listed:
  • Liam Kneafsey

    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Aidan Regan

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

This articles examines the role of the mass media in shoring up popular support for corporate tax avoidance, using the EU’s recent ruling against Apple Inc. in the case of Ireland. Using an original and novel survey experiment, we find that media frames play an important role in shaping attitudes toward Apple’s corporate tax avoidance, and attitudes towards whether the Irish state should challenge the EU ruling. We find that respondents exposed to treatments questioning the morality and fairness of Ireland’s facilitation of Apple tax avoidance are more likely to acknowledge the negative impact on Ireland’s EU neighbours. These results are largely robust to the inclusion of control variables for ideology, age, previous voting behaviour, and gender. These findings suggest that media frames are an important factor in shoring up popular support for those components of national growth regimes that are politically controversial, and play an important role in how business exercises its power over public policy. More broadly, our findings suggest that to understand popular support for national varieties of capitalism in Europe, we need to examine the role of the country-specific media.

Suggested Citation

  • Liam Kneafsey & Aidan Regan, 2019. "The Role of the Media in Shaping Attitudes Toward Corporate Tax Avoidance: Experimental Evidence from Ireland," Working Papers 201904, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201904
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Comparative political economy; media frames; corporate tax avoidance;
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