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The impact of power of authorities on trust in authorities and consequences on tax cooperation

An extension and empirical test of the Slippery Slope Framework


Tax research greatly benefits from the elaboration of the impact of the perceived power of authorities on taxpayers’ trust in authorities and subsequently on tax compliance. In the well-known slippery slope framework an orthogonal relation between this power and trust is assumed, but first empirical tests suggest that different qualities of power interact with trust. We adopt the theory of the bases of social power and distinguish between perceived coercive power, i.e. authorities’ influence strategies are perceived as punishments and rewards, and perceived legitimate power, i.e. authorities are perceived to influence taxpayers through legitimation, expertise, information allocation and identification processes. We assume that perceived coercive power decreases trust in authorities, whereas the perceived legitimated power increases trust in authorities.


This research project is supported by the „Austrian Science Fund“ (FWF).


From this project a follow-up project was generated, which investigates the effect of power in the collaborative consumption context. Please find further information on this follow-up project at www.wu.ac.at/en/collaborative-consumption/


University of Vienna

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T: +43-1-4277-0
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0