Trust in authorities as a boundary condition to procedural fairness effects on tax compliance

M. van Dijke*, P. Verboon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    We explored the moderating role of trust in authorities in the positive effect of procedural fairness of the tax office on voluntary compliance with tax authorities. Building on fairness heuristic theory, we predicted that particularly low trust in authorities makes people carefully attend to the fairness with which the tax office enacts procedures. This should result in positive procedural fairness effects on endorsement of norms prescribing taxpaying and, consequently, in voluntary tax compliance, particularly among citizens with low trust in authorities. Results from an experiment and a field study revealed converging support for these predictions. We conclude that high trust in authorities forms an important boundary condition to the effectiveness of procedural fairness as a tool to enhance tax compliance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)80-91
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010



    • trust
    • authorities
    • procedural fairness
    • tax compliance
    • heuristics
    • Compliance
    • Taxation
    • Trust (Social Behavior)

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