AuthorGanon, Michele Wendy, 1957-
AdvisorFelix, William, Jr.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation introduces to the tax evasion literature self-control theory (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990), a general theory of crime which explains criminal preferences using socio-psychological constructs, and regards specific criminal acts as manifestations of self-interested behavior. Self-control theory postulates that individuals with the least self-control will have the greatest preference for criminal behavior. By measuring those personality traits which indicate self-control, it may be possible to identify an enduring propensity towards law-abiding or criminal behavior. When combined with knowledge of an individual's decision-making ability and current opportunity, self-control theory is a general theory of crime. Self-control theory was used to develop research questions concerning the causes of tax evasion. A survey instrument was designed to address these questions, which was administered to two groups of taxpayers. The results suggest that measures of self-control are useful in explaining evasion, and that tax evaders are most easily identified by their propensity to engage in other criminal or imprudent activities. Opportunity is useful for explaining the type of evasion committed, but not for discriminating between evaders and compliers. Since self-control theory appears applicable to the evasion problem, it provides accounting researchers with an enhanced understanding of the causes of evasion. For criminology, empirical support for self-control theory in the area of tax evasion demonstrates robustness, supporting its claim to being a general theory of crime.
Degree ProgramGraduate College