Economic crisis, human values and political attitudes


In this study, we investigate time trends in the relationship between deeper value orientations and political attitudes in the context of the economic crisis in Europe. Based on the theory of basic human values, we investigate the impact of the two most basic value dimensions – represented by the higher-order value types of self-transcendence and conservation – on attitudes towards redistribution and immigration. Based on the literature, we make a series of hypotheses concerning shifts in the values-attitudes link in response to the crisis. We estimate a multi-group structural equation model (MGSEM) using the first five rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) and evaluate the effect sizes across time. Next, we estimate time trends along a growth curve model (GCM) based on the regression coefficients and link potential “crisis effects” to the key crisis indicators of GDP per capita and unemployment levels. The results support our expectations of a clear crisis effect and suggest two different mechanisms for redistribution and immigration attitudes. We conclude by discussing the implications of our results, the limitations of our approach and directions for future research.

In M. Voicu, I. C. Mochmann, & H. Dülmer (Eds.), Values, Economic Crisis and Democracy (pp. 73–103). New York; Oxon: Routledge