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How do inequality affect tax morale in Latin America and Caribbean?

By Mariana Gerstenbluth, Natalia Melgar, Juan Pablo Pagano and Máximo Rossi

Abstract

Latin America is well known as an inequitable region. As it is recognized, inequality and corruption perception weaken the way that political institutions works and the democratic system. Focusing on Latin American and Caribbean countries, this paper analyzes what are the elements shaping tax morale. In particular, how the context influences ethical grounds decisions such as the predisposition to pay taxes is analyzed, using the survey carried out in 2005 by Latinobarometro. The objective is to analyze how country performance determines tax morale. To do so, four probit models are estimated using Gini index, Transparency International Corruption Perception Index and Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDPpc) as explanatory variables. As expected we found that some socio-demographic variables play a relevant role. Interestingly, we also found that, in this attitude, LAC countries do not register a gender bias. However, those are not our main contributions to the literature on the field. The most important results are linked to: 1) the level matters, GDPpc increases the probability of people having tax morale, 2) moreover, income distribution also influence on tax morale but in opposite direction and 3) corruption perception also reduces tax morale. Those results show that the quality of institutions matters and therefore, the way that democracy works play a relevant role

Topics: Tax morale, corruption, inequality, democracy, macroeconomic performance, Economics as a science, HB71-74
Publisher: Universidad del Rosario
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:4cea16bfda7b4cdd9d29f70b6fb3e894
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