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Who should pay for war, in senses both material and otherwise, and who should be compensated? However, distribution and belonging are not the issues prioritized in the aftermath of war, when elite deals, punitive justice and technocratic recovery plans crowd out treatment of the material justice and belonging questions that dominate neighbourhoods. The political dimensions of material justice in the aftermath of war require more thorough treatment, as listening to people who have experienced displacement makes abundantly clear.

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The Journal of Educational Sociology. Journal home Journal issue About the journal. Special Issue. Keywords: distributive justice , positional goods , sufficiency-constrained meritocratic conception. Article overview. References Related articles 0. More specific to tax compliance research, studies have shown that citizens who perceive the distribution of tax burdens and benefits across individuals, groups, and society as a whole as fair show as a result more willing to voluntarily comply with tax laws and regulations e.

Focusing on distributive justice is insufficient to understand the behavior of members of social collectives. In particular, it is also relevant to consider the fairness of the procedures that are applied by authorities in enacting rules, resolving disputes, and allocating resources i. Various factors affect the perceived fairness of procedures.

Some examples of such effects of procedural justice in various settings include rule-following e. Tax compliance studies also show that citizens who perceive decisions enacted by the tax authority as high in procedural justice show as a result an increased willingness to voluntary compliance with tax regulations and laws Hartner et al.

However, scholars have recognized that distributive justice and procedural justice should not be studied in isolation, but rather as interactive predictors of responses to authorities and the system they represent e. Put differently, negative responses are most likely to result when distributive justice and procedural justice are both low.

To evaluate the likelihood that the authorities will abuse their power, people examine distributive justice as well as procedural justice. As a result, the presence of high distributive justice or high procedural justice is enough to promote constructive reactions toward the authority or the collective. Empirical research on the effects of the power of tax authorities focused on detection probabilities e. Specifically, to make sense of whether the authority can be trusted not to abuse power, people examine distributive justice as well as procedural justice.

As first support for this argument, Chen et al. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether this effect resulted from fear of power abuse, because rank differences can be based on a number of variables besides power, most notably status, which is only modestly related with power Magee and Galinsky, ; Anderson and Brown, In sum, the above argument results in our hypothesis:. We tested our hypothesis in two surveys.

For Study 1 we collected data from working professionals in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

We used existing, validated scales for all the variables of our study. In Study 2 we obtained data from United States taxpayers. Our hypothesis which we tested in both studies concerns the prediction of voluntary tax compliance by the interaction between distributive and procedural justice as further moderated by authority power. For discriminant validity purposes, we therefore also included enforced tax compliance. Enforced tax compliance describes the extent to which citizens comply with tax rules and regulations because they feel forced to do so i.

We gathered data from working professionals in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, over 3 months March—May, We distributed printed questionnaires to respondents. We also included a cover letter and a postage-paid envelope for returning the filled-out questionnaire. In the cover letter we assured strict anonymity of responses and we explained the study purpose. With a few lagging respondents, assistant data collectors repeatedly made visits to their offices, and made phone calls to remind them of the questionnaire to ensure a reasonable response rate.

The role of the assistant data collectors was restricted to transferring enclosed, filled-in questionnaires to the researchers; they could in no way endanger the anonymity of the respondents. We removed eleven respondents from the data set because they had skipped a significant number of items. Consequently, we included data from respondents in the analyses.

The data is available as Supplementary Material. All items that we used in this study are included in Appendix. We combined these items into an index of distributive justice. This scale was adapted to the tax compliance context by Gobena and van Dijke , We combined these items into an index of procedural justice.

We used a 5-item scale from Kastlunger et al.

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We these items into an authority power index. We used a 5-item scale from Kirchler and Wahl to measure voluntary tax compliance. We combined the items into an index of voluntary tax compliance. We used a 5-item scale from Kirchler and Wahl to measure enforced tax compliance.

We combined the items into an index of enforced tax compliance. Table 1 presents means, standard deviations, Cronbach alpha coefficients, and correlations between the study variables. Table 1. First, we estimated a 1-factor model. Next, we estimated a 5-factor model voluntary tax compliance, enforced tax compliance, distributive justice, procedural justice, and power.

Finally, we fitted a 6-factor model, which was identical to the 5-factor model, apart from the inclusion of a method factor that was uncorrelated to the other five factors see Podsakoff et al. This covariation of the first two procedural justice items reflects prior research, showing that the procedural justice scale has two components, that is, follower control reflecting these two items and leader benevolence van Dijke and De Cremer, Yet, the PCFI for this model is clearly lower than for the 5-factor model and, in fact, below the accepted threshold of 0.

Thus, the CFAs support the validity of our specified measurement model. In fact, even if we accept the weak evidence for common method variance from the 6-factor model, this does not preclude the testing of our hypothesis, as it concerns an interaction effect, in which common method variance plays no explanatory role Evans, We tested our hypothesis with ordinary least squares OLS regression analyses. We entered the main effects of the predictor variables in Step 1.

In step 2 we entered the two-way interactions between these variables. In Step 3 we entered the three-way interaction between these variables. We standardize the predictor variables before calculating the interaction terms. The results are presented in Table 2. As shown in Table 2 , consistent with prior findings, distributive and procedural justice, significantly predicted voluntary tax compliance; the main effect of authority power on voluntary tax compliance was not significant. In line with our hypothesis, in step 3, the three-way interaction between procedural justice, distributive justice, and power was significant.

This interaction is depicted in Figures 1 , 2. We used simple slopes analyses to decompose this interaction Aiken and West, Figure 1. Figure 2.

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Distributive justice | Emerald Insight

Figure 1 appears to be in line with this predicted pattern. To formally test this pattern, we tested the simple slopes of procedural justice on voluntary tax compliance when distributive justice was high vs. These results indicate that procedural justice and distributive justice interact to predict voluntary tax compliance, such that for high voluntary tax compliance it is enough that procedural or distributive justice is high.

But this interaction is restricted to citizens who view the tax authority as having high power. Study 1 presents first evidence in support of our hypothesis. However, we collected the data in one specific tax climate, that is, among Ethiopian taxpayers. Ethiopia is characterized by a tense connection between the tax authority and taxpayers Bekana et al. To test the generalizability of our findings, in Study 2 we sought to replicate our findings obtained in the Ethiopian context in a taxation climate where the relationship between taxpayers and the tax authority is friendlier, that is, among United States income taxpayers.

AMT offers online access to a large pool of respondents, which makes data collection faster and inexpensive Buhrmester et al. AMT is widely used to gather data across a wide range of the social sciences Buhrmester et al. Studies that have employed AMT cover topics as diverse as procedural justice van Dijke et al. The reliability of data collected via AMT for both survey and experimental studies mirrors and sometimes is even superior to that of data obtained using traditional methods Behrend et al.

We invited respondents who currently had work that earned them taxable income and hence had experience with the tax authority to participate in the study. There were no missing values because all respondents that we recruited for the study responded to all items. We measured all study variables i. Table 3. Like in Study 1, we conducted CFAs. It was also below the accepted threshold of 0.

In sum, the CFAs in this study also support the validity of our specified measurement model.

Distributive justice

We tested our hypothesis using OLS regression, as we did in Study 1. We entered the main effects of distributive justice, procedural justice, and authority power, and their interactions, in the same way as we did in Study 1. The results are presented in Table 4. As shown in Table 4 , consistent with Study 1, distributive and procedural justice significantly predicted voluntary tax compliance; the main effect of authority power did not significantly predict voluntary tax compliance.

Figures 3 , 4 visually depict the shape of this interaction. Figure 3. Figure 4.

Principles of Distributive Justice

As stated earlier, our argument implies that when power of the tax authority is high, high procedural or high distributive justice is enough to produce high levels of voluntary tax compliance. Similar to Figures 1 , 2 appears to be in line with this predicted pattern. To assess if this interaction significantly predicts voluntary tax compliance across the two studies, we conducted a within-paper meta-analysis using MAVIS in the R Shiny package for R. One important dilemma that individuals face is whether to comply with tax laws and regulations, where the personal gains that result from non-compliance come at a cost for society and its members.

We obtained this predicted three-way interaction only on voluntary, and not on enforced, tax compliance. We expected this because in such situations, citizens are relatively likely to fear abuse.


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However, it is not clear whether this effect resulted from fear of power abuse or from another process because rank differences can be based on a number of variables besides power, most notably status. And status is only modestly related with power Magee and Galinsky, ; Anderson and Brown, Moreover, our design allows leaving the typical situation intact where justice is enacted by an authority of higher rank, such as the relationship between taxpayers and the tax authority, but also relationships between managers and employees at the work floor.

Distributive Justice

Furthermore, our cross-cultural studies with two samples that strongly differ in terms of tax climates serve the purpose of filling the void in studies that compare the voluntary tax compliance behavior of developed and developing countries Gobena and van Dijke, Our study uniquely explores how social psychological and deterrent factors moderate each other in stimulating voluntary tax compliance across culturally different samples — one in Ethiopia and the other in the United States. Accordingly, we contribute to the ecological validity of integrative roles of social psychological and deterrence factors on tax compliance.

Deterrent factors are those factors that force individuals to behave against their will; one of such factors is power wielded by authorities Kirchler et al. The deterrent line of research is based on the notion that taxpayers are selfish and will decide to pay taxes only when they believe the expected costs of evading taxes i. This research also offers contributions to the practice of tax administration.

First, prior research has identified procedural and distributive justice as important antecedents of voluntary tax compliance e. Unfortunately, taxpayers often perceive distributive justice as low, owing, for example, to the judgment of their exchange with the government as unfair, inequitable distribution of tax burdens and benefits, or simply because they view paying taxes as unfavorable, which taints distributive justice perceptions. We showed, however, that high vs. Therefore, tax authorities can stimulate a higher level of voluntary tax compliance by making their decision-making procedures free of their own self-interest, basing taxation decisions on accurate information, and letting the taxpayers voice their opinions in the decisions.

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From a different vantage point, high vs. This is also relevant to consider because it may often not be possible, for instance, to offer voice to taxpayers in taxation decisions, or to convince taxpayers that the tax authority used all relevant information to arrive at a decision. In such situations, high distributive justice is important to stimulate high levels of voluntary tax compliance.

However, our results also show that for either justice dimension to buffer effects of low scores on the other dimension, it is important to be also perceived as having high power i. Thus, even in antagonistic taxation climates, tax authorities are advised to gradually build power by increasing the percentage of tax evasion they detect and having convincing knowledge and competence to detect tax evasion.

One limitation that should be discussed results concerns the fact that it is not possible to arrive at causal conclusions, due to the cross-sectional design that we used. Future research should draw unambiguous causal conclusions using longitudinal or experimental designs. Yet, we note that prior experimental research has shown that high vs. Furthermore, various experiments have identified the interactive effect of procedural and distributive justice on various outcomes that are related to compliance, such as voluntary cooperation in groups Brockner and Wiesenfeld, Another limitation is that we studied voluntary tax compliance rather than actual levels of compliance based on self-reported data.

The use of self-reported measures in the tax compliance literature is common because it is very difficult to obtain tax compliance data from other sources e. Moreover, one important limitation of objective tax compliance data is that it cannot detect various types of motives that underlie compliance; something that was of primary interest in our research cf.