Consumer reactions to corporate tax strategies: The role of political ideology
This study contributes to research on how stakeholders react to corporate tax strategies (CTSs). In two experiments we show that consumers are more likely to react negatively to ‘aggressive’ rather than to reward ‘conservative’ CTSs. The impact of CTSs on consumer reactions is mediated by the perceived ethicality of the firm and moderated by individuals' political identification. Right-leaning consumers are less likely than left-leaning consumers to punish companies engaging in tax avoidance. This moderation depends on the personal connection customers have with a particular brand: both left-leaning and right-leaning consumers punish firms they feel close to when such firms engage in aggressive CTSs. The study extends our understanding of the benefits and risks associated with different CTSs. It contributes to debates on the morality of CTSs, showing that political ideology shapes individuals' perceived ethicality of corporations engaged in aggressive tax avoidance.
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