One aspect of the multifaceted controversy on value change in advanced industrial societies concerns the measurement of values. Analyses of 1976–86 Euro-Barometer data have indicated that responses to the four-item “materialist-postmaterialist” values index are very sensitive to current economic conditions, especially inflation and unemployment rates and, hence, much of the recorded increase in postmaterialism in eight Western European countries since the mid-1970s is artifactual. Although it has been claimed these findings disappear if more recent data are considered, time series analyses reveal that responses to the values measure are strongly affected by prevailing economic conditions throughout the entire 1976–92 period. These aggregate-level findings are buttressed by individual-level analyses of 1989 Euro-Barometer data.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2004
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