**Laurie Mason is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University. Her background includes five years as a working journalist. Her research interests focus on legal questions involving the mass media.
A Moral Appeal for Taxpayer Compliance: The Case for a Mass Media Campaign*
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Law & Policy
Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 381–399, October 1992
How to Cite
MASON, L. and MASON, R. (1992), A Moral Appeal for Taxpayer Compliance: The Case for a Mass Media Campaign. Law & Policy, 14: 381–399. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9930.1992.tb00090.x
*The authors wish to thank Karyl Kinsey and Kent Smith, American Bar Foundation; Kathy Moore, Philosophy Department, Oregon State University; Clifford Nass and Steven Chaffee, Department of Communication, Stanford University; Stephen Lee, Communication Department, Santa Clara University; and anonymous reviewers, who commented on earlier drafts. This research was completed with the assistance of a summer salary grant to the senior author by the San Jose State University Foundation.
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
This paper examines the ability of the mass media to enhance compliance with the law by the use of moral appeals. Drawing on the moral development literature and the literature of mass communication effects, we set forth a model for designing mass media campaigns directed at improving compliance with the law. Tax compliance is the issue we analyze. While we determine that no appeal, however well-crafted, is expected to reform all tax offenders, and that some approaches are likely to produce less rather than more compliance, we identify hallmarks of a potentially successful appeal.