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European regulation mandates public country-by-country reporting for banks and is expected to increase reputational costs in case of tax haven activities. We test whether the availability of additional public information on the locations of banks´ subsidiaries reduces their tax haven presence. In a preliminary difference-in-difference analysis we find that indeed, tax haven presence in “Dot-Havens” has declined significantly after the introduction of mandatory public country-by-country reporting for European banks, as compared to the insurance industry which is not subject to this regulation.
Legitimacy Judgment Formation as Deliberation: Evidence from Experiments on Corporate Tax Avoidance
Robin Schnider1, Patrick Haack2, Andreas Georg Scherer1
Research has conceptualized organizational legitimacy as a multi-level process comprising validity and propriety. Propriety refers to an individual evaluator’s judgment that an organization or organizational practice is appropriate for its social context, whereas validity denotes an institutionalized, collective-level judgment of appropriateness within that context. Scholars have explored how propriety judgments form and change and focused on how propriety interacts with validity. However, research has applied a monological conception of legitimacy, ignoring the fact that propriety judgments are shaped in communication and social interaction processes. In response, we advance a dialogical conception and study the formation of propriety judgments in deliberations about corporate tax avoidance. Results of two experiments featuring direct deliberations with real representatives of a Big Four tax advisory firm and its critics and indirect deliberations via videos on social media confirm that deliberation affects propriety and offer important insights regarding the role of validity in this process. In particular, we explore the conditions under which deliberation leads to the (de-)legitimation of organizations and their practices, and we analyze the impact of peers, experts, and social media commentators in the formation of propriety judgments. We then discuss implications for research on legitimacy and outline practical implications for business firms.