Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Latter Day Saints and Tax Evasion

Apropos of many discussions I've had with Arfanser, here is an empirical article on tax evasion and the Mormon church. I haven't read it all yet, but it is on my to-do list.

Conlcusion: "The study also found that Mormons are significantly more opposed to tax evasion than are non-Mormons, regardless of the issue.

3 Comments:

Blogger scarlet panda said...

Interesting topic; weird article.

Some strange things about the study:

1. 562 LDS respondents were surveyed, but only 59 non-LDS respondents. How much information could they really have gotten?


2. The article suggested weird possible sources of bias without dealing with them: For example, of 638 respondents...
-502 were accounting/business/econ majors
-456 were male

It is not clear whether these possible sources of bias were present at equivalent levels in both the LDS and non-LDS samples.

3. Was this a majority LDS campus? A minority LDS campus? The article doesn't say. But one's attitude toward the government might be influenced by whether one is in the majority or minority.

I'd love to see more articles about tax & religion, though.

4:56 PM  
Blogger scarlet panda said...

Also, there is no indication that the 59 "non-Mormons" represent a proportional sampling of other belief systems. By chance, such a small sample would likely be skewed toward one or a few belief systems.

If the sample happened to include a lot of atheists, then the study tells us about Mormons vs. atheists. If the sample happened to include a lot of evangelical Christians, then it tells us something completely different. We have no idea what these data mean!

Arrggh.

By the way, I am not out to show that Mormons are big tax evaders just like the rest of us. The author's hypothesis is interesting, and I was prepared to believe it. But unless I am missing something, this article doesn't show much. (Of course, I did read the article very quickly, so maybe I am missing something.)

8:01 PM  
Blogger Squishy Burrito said...

SP makes some valid points.

1) UVSC is definately a mormon school. One of the researchers was from UVSC. Although UVSC is not a major college so I would tend to think that they were referring to BYU.

2) BYU is majorily LDS. From what I understand all student have to follow a pretty stringent honour code. I have often heard that the reason that those who are not LDS attend BYU is for their moral standards.

3) While I don't necessarily believe the quality of the research I would point out...

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1

specifically #12 and 13

10:55 AM  

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