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Procedural Fairness and Compliance with the Law

  • Tom R. Tyler
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    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.

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    Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 133 (1997)
    Issue (Month): II (June)
    Pages: 219-240

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    Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:1997-ii-8
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    1. 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 161-70, July.
    2. 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.
    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.
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