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The role of religiosity in tax morale and tax compliance


The role of religiosity has been relatively neglected in the tax compliance literature hitherto. The growing trend of emphasising non-economic factors in determining tax morale and compliance rather than economic deterrence models is recognised. This paper discusses the key components of the literature and the growing importance of research into tax morale and within that, the role and increasing yet still very limited recognition of religiosity. This includes an analysis of its development by a few pioneering researchers largely outside the tax field. This development essentially comprises early small scale survey studies in the U.S.A. and more recent studies with a wider international coverage. However the latter tend to rely on omnibus surveys such as the World Values Survey. Reasons for the likely importance of religiosity are fully discussed. Conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues and difficulties of research in this niche area in a global context are discussed and approaches going forward conclude this timely paper.

Author profiles:

Prof Jeffrey Pope
Jeff is Professor and Director of the Tax Policy Research Unit , school of Economics and Finance, Curtin University. Current at 01 April 2014 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Jeff POPE.
Raihana Mohdali
Raihana is a Lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and a Doctoral Candidate at the TPRU, School of Economics and Finance, Curtin University.
Current at 1 December 2010
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