Emotionally intelligent tax policy: The case of higher education funding

Eliza Ahmed, Valerie Braithwaite

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Purpose. The current study addresses the issue of discontent at a personal and policy level with higher education and its funding, and its relation to tax compliance among a graduate population. It examines the thesis that discontent with the provision and funding of higher education plays a significant role in lowering tax compliance through the mediational role of shame management and dissociation from authority. Method. Data are taken from the graduates' hopes, visions, and actions survey based on a sample of 447 Australian graduates who recently received their tertiary degrees. Results. Path analysis provides support for the central thesis but also shows additional direct links between (I) dissatisfaction (with university studies) and tax evasion, and (2) having an income-contingent university debt to repay and tax evasion. Conclusions. This study demonstrates the ways in which the legitimacy of the tax system and the legitimacy of higher education policy are interconnected. Criticisms of government departments acting in tunnel-visioned ways with regard to the consequences of their actions are magnified in light of the findings of this paper. People take out their frustrations with one part of the government system (higher education funding and service provision) on other parts of the government system (taxation). Communication between these different parts is imperative for effective policy development and implementation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)291-308
    JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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