Trust and power as determinants of tax compliance across 44 nations

Larissa Batrancea, Anca Nichita, Jerome Olsen, Christoph Kogler, Erich Kirchler, Erik Hoelzl, Avi Weiss, Benno Torgler, Jonas Fooken, Joanne Fuller, Markus Schaffner, Sheheryar Banuri, Medhat Hassanein, Gloria Alarcón-García, Ceyhan Aldemir, Oana Apostol, Diana Bank Weinberg, Ioan Batrancea, Alexis Belianin, Felipe De Jesús Bello GómezMarie Briguglio, Valerij Dermol, Elaine Doyle, Rebone Gcabo, Binglin Gong, Sara Ennya, Anthony Essel-Anderson, Jane Frecknall-Hughes, Ali Hasanain, Yoichi Hizen, Odilo Huber, Georgia Kaplanoglou, Janusz Kudła, Jérémy E. Lemoine, Supanika Leurcharusmee, Thorolfur Matthiasson, Sanjeev Mehta, Sejin Min, George Naufal, Mervi Niskanen, Katarina Nordblom, Engin Bağış Öztürk, Luis Pacheco, József Pántya, Vassilis Rapanos, Christine Roland-Lévy, Ana Maria Roux-Cesar, Aidin Salamzadeh, Lucia Savadori, Vidar Schei, Manoj Sharma, Barbara Summers, Komsan Suriya, Quoc Tran, Clara Villegas-Palacio, Martine Visser, Chun Xia, Sunghwan Yi, Sarunas Zukauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The slippery slope framework of tax compliance emphasizes the importance of trust in authorities as a substantial determinant of tax compliance alongside traditional enforcement tools like audits and fines. Using data from an experimental scenario study in 44 nations from five continents (N = 14,509), we find that trust in authorities and power of authorities, as defined in the slippery slope framework, increase tax compliance intentions and mitigate intended tax evasion across societies that differ in economic, sociodemographic, political, and cultural backgrounds. We also show that trust and power foster compliance through different channels: trusted authorities (those perceived as benevolent and enhancing the common good) register the highest voluntary compliance, while powerful authorities (those perceived as effectively controlling evasion) register the highest enforced compliance. In contrast to some previous studies, the results suggest that trust and power are not fully complementary, as indicated by a negative interaction effect. Despite some between-country variations, trust and power are identified as important determinants of tax compliance across all nations. These findings have clear implications for authorities across the globe that need to choose best practices for tax collection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102191
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Early online date16 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Cite this