A Crime by Any Other Name: Gender Differences in Moral Reasoning When Judging the Tax Evasion of Cryptocurrency Traders

Jori Grym*, Jaakko Aspara, Monomita Nandy, Suman Lodh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Tax evasion is a major issue for authorities worldwide. Understanding the factors that influence individuals’ intrinsic motivation to pay taxes, known as their tax morale, is important for improving tax compliance. This study investigated gender differences in judging tax evasion in the context of cryptocurrency trading. Specifically, a survey study explored whether different moral foundations, financial literacies, and political orientations among females vs. males might explain potential gender differences in judging tax evasion. In an online survey, 243 U.S. adults read a vignette about a friend evading taxes in a cryptocurrency trading context. In a correlational analysis, we found that females judged tax evasion harsher, as being more morally wrong than males. Of the psychographic factors, only individualizing moral foundation values (i.e., fairness and harm avoidance) explained the harsher moral judgment by females. That is, individualizing moral foundation values were at a higher level among females, which further predicted females’ harsher judgment of tax evasion. While females also had, on average, lower financial literacy and knowledge of cryptocurrencies than males, these did not predict their harsher judgment of tax evasion. The findings contribute to research on gender differences in moral judgments and highlight that a given transgression, or a specific crime, may violate different moral values in men and women. The results demonstrate to policy makers that it is important to take into account gender differences, in campaigns promoting tax morale and compliance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number198
Peer-reviewed scientific journalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number198
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 520 Other social sciences
  • tax morale
  • gender differences
  • moral foundations
  • tax evasion
  • cryptocurrency
  • judgment

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Financial management, accounting, and governance


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