IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Procedural Fairness and Compliance with the Law


  • Tom R. Tyler


First it is shown that it is difficult to enforce the law using only the threat of punishment. Authorities need the willing, voluntary compliance of most citizens with most laws, most of the time. Second, such voluntary compliance is linked to judgments about the legitimacy of authorities and the morality of the law. Third, public views about the legitimacy of legal authorities are linked to judgments about the fairness of the procedures through which those authorities make decisions. Finally, an important element in procedural justice judgments involve evaluations of the manner in which authorities treat citizens. Taken together, these findings suggest that an important component of the effective exercise of authority involves non-instrumental issues. By including such non-instrumental concerns in the study of compliance with the law we can more completely understand the dynamics of obedience with social authorities.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom R. Tyler, 1997. "Procedural Fairness and Compliance with the Law," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(II), pages 219-240, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:1997-ii-8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guth, Werner & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1997. "Do People Care about Democracy? An Experiment Exploring the Value of Voting Rights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 27-47, April.
    2. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-170, July.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 1996. "Fair siting procedures: An empirical analysis of their importance and characteristics," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 353-376.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:02:p:461-477_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2007. "With or Against the People? The Impact of a Bottom-Up Approach on Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6331x6vz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    2. Kroneberg, Clemens & Heintze, Isolde & Mehlkop, Guido, 2008. "On shoplifting and tax fraud : an action-theoretic analysis of crime," Papers 08-16, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Friedrich Schneider (ed.), 2011. "Handbook on the Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13432.
    4. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 448-478, August.
    6. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    7. Byung-hill Jun & Myeonghwan Cho & Myung-Ho Park, 2015. "Procedural Fairness and Taxpayers�� Response Evidence from an Experimen," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 31, pages 301-326.
    8. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-377, September.
    9. Bruno S. Frey & Marcel Kucher & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Outcome, Process & Power in Direct Democracy," IEW - Working Papers 025, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
    11. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Maximising Happiness?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 145-167, May.
    12. Mulvey, Edward P. & Schubert, Carol A. & Chung, He Len, 2007. "Service use after court involvement in a sample of serious adolescent offenders," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 518-544, April.
    13. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Alison Macintyre, 2011. "Shadow Economy, Voice and Accountability, and Corruption," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Torgler, Benno, 2011. "Tax morale and compliance : review of evidence and case studies for Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5922, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:1997-ii-8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Steiner). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.