CSR and tax avoidance: A review of empirical research

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


This article is a literature review that covers quantitative empirical research on the association between corporate social responsibility and corporate tax avoidance. We conduct a structured literature review and evaluate the empirical-quantitative results with regard to the CSR-tax avoidance link and vice versa. The association between CSR and tax avoidance is both theoretically and empirically ambiguous. However, the majority of studies finds a negative association between CSR and tax avoidance. Nevertheless, results are highly dependent on measurement of the respective constructs and on other marginal conditions. Comparability of recent research on the issue is in particular limited due to heterogeneous CSR and tax avoidance metrics and due to a potentially bidirectional relationship. Results imply that there is not necessarily a stable association between CSR performance, as measured by CSR scores or ratings, CSR reporting and a firm’s tax practices. Thus, socially responsible investors have to make a decision whether they are prepared to invest in firms that have high CSR scores and strong CSR performance while aggressively avoiding taxes. Investors who perceive tax payments as part of a firm’s responsibility towards society, have to select their investments with great care, as CSR scores and CSR reporting are of only limited informative value with regard to tax avoidance.
ZeitschriftCorporate Ownership & Control
Seiten (von - bis)20-39
Anzahl der Seiten20
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.01.2021

Zugehörige Projekte

  • Tax Avoidance, Corporate Governance and Corporate Finance. Agency-theoretical analysis, literature review and empirical investigation

    Projekt: Dissertationsprojekt