John D'Attoma

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter
Areas of Expertise:
  • International Development
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

About John

D’Attoma’s research focuses on international relations and international political economy, specifically concerning how institutions, social capital, and civic culture shape taxpayer behavior. Another aspect of his research examines the process of globalization through a critical neo-Gramscian lens. Here he assesses interstate relations as shaped by transnational capital accumulation and class conflict.


Roots and Remedies for Rampant Tax Evasion in Italy



"The Role of Gender in the Provision of Public Goods Through Tax Compliance" (with David M. Bruner and Sven Steinmo). Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 71 (2017): 45-55.

Finds significant evidence of gender differences in tax compliance and the willingness to contribute to public goods. Finds robust evidence that tax compliance is greater for women than men and men are more willing to contribute to public goods.

"Are Some Countries More Honest than Others? Evidence from a Tax Compliance Experiment in Sweden and Italy" (with Giulia Andrighetto, Sven Steinmo, Stefania Ottone, Ferruccio Ponzano, and Nan Zhang). Frontiers in Psychology 7, no. 472 (2016).

Examines cultural differences in ordinary dishonesty between Italy and Sweden, two countries with different reputations for trustworthiness and probity. Finds that the average level of tax evasion (as a measure of ordinary dishonesty) does not differ significantly between Swedes and Italians. Discusses implications of findings for hte evolution and enforcement of honestly norms. 

"Divided Nation: North-South Cleavages in Italian Tax Compliance" Polity 49, no. 1 (2017).

Assesses regional  effects of Italy's major institutions on tax behavior within Italy. Finds that the Catholic Church, the state, and Italy's major political parties have had a profound effect on how citizens in the North and South perceive their government, and thus, to a larger extent, why Northern Italians are more willing to invest in their public institutions.

"Willing to Share? Tax Compliance and Gender in Europe and America" (with Clara Volintiru and Sven Steinmo). Research & Politics 4, no. 2 (2017): 1-10.

Finds that women are significantly more compliant with state taxes than men in all countries. Reveals that these patterns are quite consistent across countries; therefore, the difference between men's and women's behavior is not significantly different in more gender neutral countries than in more traditional societies.

"Hegemony or Dominance?: A Gramscian Analysis of U.S. Ascendancy" Critique: A Worldwide Journal of Politics (2011): 1-14.
Surveys the various Gramscian and neo-Gramscian literature and examines the construction of a “common sense” in America focusing on two fundamental aspects: American exceptionalism and Liberalism; takes a critical look at American policy during the Reagan Administration.

In the News

John D'Attoma's research on Derek Prall and Jason AxelrodJohn D'Attoma, "When Budget Surveys Fall Short," American City & County, May 2, 2018.
John D'Attoma quoted , "Men More Likely Than Women to Dodge Tax" The Times, December 23, 2017.
"Our Survey Reveals that Even Republicans Want A Fairer Tax Deal for America ," John D'Attoma (with Sven Steinmo), The Conversation, December 12, 2017.
"Trump's Tax Proposals Are Wildly Out of Sync with What Most Americans Would Do, Our New Study Shows," John D'Attoma (with Sven Steinmo and Kim-Lee Tuxhorn), Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, September 20, 2017.
"Trump’s Tax Rhetoric is Already Harming the Country," John D'Attoma, Huffington Post, April 15, 2017.
"Women Don’t Cheat as Much on Their Taxes as Men Do," John D'Attoma, The Washington Post, April 17, 2017.
"Why are Some Nations’ Citizens More Likely to Cheat on Their Taxes? What We Found Surprised Us.," John D'Attoma (with Sven Steinmo), The Washington Post, April 15, 2016.
"Another Reason for Equal Pay: Women are More Honest on Their Taxes than Men," John D'Attoma (with Clara Volintiru), Huffington Post, April 13, 2016.
"The Word ‘Tax’ is Unpopular. But the Word ‘Fee’ is Worse.," John D'Attoma (with Sven Steinmo), The Washington Post, April 15, 2015.