The paper shows the opinions on tax evasion of Italian people based on data gathered in four different national surveys that used similar questionnaires between 1992 and 2013. Using the Principal Component Analysis, the study constructs a synthetic indicator of the propensity to evade, examining its intensity across various social groups and its evolution over time.
The analysis highlights that a certain propensity for evasion is widespread among the population. It is greater among individuals with low levels of education and income, the elderly and the residents of the South and the Islands. Over time, this propensity has increased, especially in the North and among young people under 30, while the higher propensity for evasion that was recorded for the self-employed in the 1990s had largely abated in 2013. By international standards, Italy is in an intermediate position as regards the willingness to justify evasion behaviour; however, people report widespread levels of tax evasion for their fellow citizens.