Motivating Compliance Behavior Among Offenders: Procedural Justice or Deterrence?

Criminal Justice and Behavior, Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2015 Last revised: 31 Aug 2015

See all articles by Kristina Murphy

Kristina Murphy

Griffith University

Ben Bradford

University College London - Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Methodology

Date Written: August 28, 2015

Abstract

Research shows that procedural justice can motivate compliance behavior through the mediating influence of either legitimacy or social identity. Yet few studies examine the relative importance of these two mediators in the same analysis. Using three waves of longitudinal survey data collected from 359 tax offenders we examine: (a) whether procedural justice is important to offenders’ decisions to comply with their future tax obligations over and above fear of sanctions; and (b) whether legitimacy and social identity processes mediate the relationship between procedural justice and compliance. Our results reveal that: (1) legitimacy mediates the effect of procedural justice on compliance; (2) social identity mediates the procedural justice/compliance relationship; (3) identity seems to matter slightly more than perceptions of legitimacy when predicting tax compliance; (4) perceived risk of sanction plays a small but counterproductive role in predicting tax compliance. We conclude that normative concerns dominate taxpayers’ compliance decisions. Our findings have implications for understanding compliance behavior, but also for conceptualizing why and how procedural justice can motivate such behavior.

Keywords: compliance, legitimacy, procedural justice, deterrence, policing, tax

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Kristina and Bradford, Ben and Jackson, Jonathan, Motivating Compliance Behavior Among Offenders: Procedural Justice or Deterrence? (August 28, 2015). Criminal Justice and Behavior, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652711

Kristina Murphy (Contact Author)

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Ben Bradford

University College London - Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science ( email )

35 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9EZ
United Kingdom

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Methodology ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)

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