The role of the media in shaping attitudes toward corporate tax avoidance in Europe: experimental evidence from Ireland.

Review of International Political Economy
With Liam Kneafsey

This article examines the role of the mass media in shaping attitudes toward corporate tax avoidance. Using an original and novel survey experiment of the European Union’s ruling against Apple in Ireland, we find that media frames play an important role in shaping citizens attitudes. We find that respondents exposed to treatments questioning the morality and fairness of Ireland’s facilitation of Apple tax avoidance are more likely to acknowledge the negative impact on Ireland’s EU neighbours. The more nationalistic the media frame, the more likely respondents disagree with the EU ruling against Apple. These results are largely robust to the inclusion of control variables for ideology, age, previous voting behaviour, and gender. These findings suggest that media frames are an important factor in shoring up popular support for those components of growth regimes that are politically controversial. More broadly, our findings suggest that to understand the determinants of national varieties of capitalism - or growth models - we need to examine the role of the country-specific media.

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