Most investigations of the underground economy have focused on the size, causes, consequences, characteristics, and effects of government policies on shadow economic activities. However, little is known about public perception regarding activities of the underground economy. This quantitative, nonexperimental study was designed to examine ethical attitudes of Canadian workers regarding the shadow economy and tax evasion. Participants included a random sample of 333 self-employed and corporate employees from the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Participants completed an online questionnaire consisting of demographic questions and Likert-type scales. Dependent variables included perceptions towards underground economic activities and perceptions towards tax evasion. Mean scores were compared based on employment status (self-employed versus employed in a corporation) and participant income. Comparisons were computed using analyses of variance and independent samples t tests. For comparisons based on employment status, differences were significant for underground economic activities, t(203) = 4.23, p < .001, 95% CI = [0.53, 1.46], and tax evasion, t(203) = 2.37, p = .02, 95% CI = [0.09, 1.01], with self-employed individuals showing higher ethical standards compared with individuals employed in a corporation. For comparisons based on income level, differences were significant for underground economic activities, F(4, 200) = 8.32, p < .001, partial eta square = .14, and tax evasion, F(4, 200) = 6.49, p < .001, partial eta square = .12, with post hoc analyses showing differences only between the lowest and the highest income groups. Findings from Research Question 1 and 2 confirmed that Canadian workers' perceptions towards shadow economy and tax evasion differ based on employment status. Also, the findings for Research Questions 3 and 4 revealed that perceptions toward shadow economy and tax evasion differ based on income level. Further research is needed to compare the perceptions of workers regarding underground economic activities and tax evasion based on type of employment and income level in other provinces in Canada. Qualitative investigations are also recommended to complement the current study.
|Advisor:||Ness, R. Lawrence|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Shadow economies, Tax evasion, Underground economies|
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