Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Format of Original

5 p.

Publication Date



Missouri Valley Economic Association

Source Publication

Journal of Economics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

Shelves: HB1 .M56a Memorial Periodicals


It is well-known that every year a substantial amount of income evades income taxation. This is obviously a significant policy problem. To solve this problem, the tax authorities must have information about the factors that taxpayers consider when deciding how much income to report on their tax returns. The need for such information has prompted a number of theoretical and empirical studies of the evasion problem.

In this paper some aggregate empirical evidence on income tax evasion in the U.S. is provided. This is accomplished by specifying an aggregate tax evasion function which is estimated over the period 1947-78. The results provide (1) empirical evidence which supports some of the predictions of the microtheory, (2) insights where the theoretical results are indeterminant, and (3) an indication of the sensitivity of a measure of aggregate evasion to changes in the aggregate variables which correspond to the microtheoretical determinants of evasion.

The remainder of this paper is organized in the following way. Section I contains background information on the results reported in some of the previous literature. In Section II, an empirical model is specified and estimated, and the results are presented. This is followed in Section III by brief discussion of some of the possible implications of these results, along with suggestions for further research.


Published version. Published as part of the proceedings of the conference, The Twentieth Annual Meeting Missouri Valley Economic Association, 1984: 106-110. Publisher Link. © 1984 Missouri Valley Economic Association. Used with permission.

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