Programme 2013

Tuesday 16th July       Wednesday 17th July       Thursday 18th July       Friday 19th July      

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Tuesday 16th July 2013, 14:00 - 15:30, Room: No. 22

European Values Study - methodological and substantive applications 2

Convenor Dr Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University)
Coordinator 1Professor Wolfgang Jagodzinski (University of Cologne)

Session Details

The European Values Study (EVS) is a unique research project into Europe's basic values. First, it spans a period of almost 30 years with surveys in 1981, 1990, 1999, and 2008. Second, EVS has an extensive geographical coverage. In Europe, the survey has gradually been expanded from mostly Western European countries in 1981 to the whole of Europe in 2008. Third, even though several items have been changed in the consecutive waves, EVS still includes an impressive number of unchanged questions. Fourth, researchers have combined survey data with macro-level data so that multi-level models can be estimated. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the questionnaires pertain to a very broad spectrum of life domains: family and marriage, economics, work, leisure, politics, religion, morality. This allows to introduce overarching concepts and to examine their effects on attitude and reported behavior in different domains. Such a rich data source also offers a unique chance for substantive and methodological investigations. We are particularly interested in papers which make use of the comparative potential of EVS from a methodological and a substantive perspective. To give a few examples: Do the measurement instruments that have been used in EVS guarantee comparability across time and space? In which domains do we observe a generational change during the last decades and in which domains are life-cycle effects more plausible. Can we reliably estimate the long-term change? Which models are suited best for that purpose? To what extent can differences between countries traced back to cultural influences? How can the latter be measured? What are the main problems of these multi-level models? However, other empirical and methodological topics are possible too.

Paper Details

1. "When in Rome ...": Contextual determinants of international migrants' confidence in political institutions
Dr Bogdan Voicu (Romanian Academy of Science)
Dr Claudiu Tufis (University of Bucharest)

There is a long tradition of considering culture as an important determinant of attitudes towards democracy and as a key for interpreting the roles and performance of political institutions (Almond & Verba, 1969; Dogan, 2005). Within their cultures, people learn values such as confidence in political institutions (Parliament, government, political parties), which define the democratic set-up in most societies. People collectively learn and internalize common patterns to deal with such institutions (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2001). These patterns act as social values and are quite stable over time (Jagodzinski, 2004; van Deth & Scarborough, 1994), although they may adapt to contextual changes (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005; Welzel, 2007).
This paper considers the case of international migrants' confidence in political institutions. We use country-level aggregates of confidence in institutions as indicators of specific cultures of trust and, using EVS 2008 data, we test two competing hypotheses. First, if confidence in institutions depends primarily on values formed during early childhood, after controlling for relevant variables (Dalton, 1999; Easton, 1995), the international migrant's confidence in political institutions in the current residency country will be influenced by the confidence context from the country of origin. The host country, however, may have different norms of trusting political institutions, leading to our second hypothesis. Migrants' confidence in institutions is influenced by two confidence contexts, one from the origin country and one from the host country. Time spent in the two cultures and other characteristics of these contexts shape interaction effects we test in multilevel cross-classified models.

2. Exploring patterns of academic usage: A Google Scholar based study of ESS, EVS, WVS and ISSP academic publications
Dr Brina Malnar (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences)

Background: Large comparative surveys are designed to provide relevant and reliable secondary data on social processes to a wide range of academic audiences, as well as answer the needs of policy makers for making informed decisions and identify emerging social trends. Based on bibliographic information obtained via Google Scholar indexing system the paper seeks to explore patterns of academic usage of four large cross-national surveys in year 2012: ESS, EVS, WVS and ISSP.

Methods: Relevant Google Scholar hits for year 2012 will be coded into an SPSS data file, enabling statistical comparisons of publication patterns across the four surveys according to type of publication, topics analysed, author affiliation and language of publication.

Study aims: The main analytical question the paper will address is whether the ranking of topics analysed in academic publications is similar in all four surveys, or can survey specific patterns be identified. In other words, are there topic-specific patterns of secondary analysis associated with survey characteristics (particularly the content of the questionnaire), or is topic choice independent of a survey and determined primarily by the general societal context and burning policy issues? In the methods section, the paper will also critically assess Google Scholar as a tool for monitoring bibliographic outputs and propose several steps to filter Google Scholar hits by the criteria of relevance to optimize results.

3. Methodological and Substantive Issues in Analyses of a Dependent Nominal-Level Variable in Comparative Research - The Case of Party Choice
Professor Oddbjørn Knutsen (Department of Political Science, University of Oslo)

This paper will use the data from EVS 2008 is examine the strength of the relationship between different value orientations and party choice. According to traditional textbooks, unstandardized measures should be used to compare the impact of the same independent variables on the dependent variable in different countries while standardised coefficients can be used for comparing the impact of different variables on the same dependent variable within the same sample/country.
The paper will develop and use two unstandardized coefficients for comparing the relationship between value orientations and party choice. One is the numerator in the formula for the eta-coefficient, and the other is an equivalent measure to dummy variables for the party choice variable. These unstandardized coefficients will be compared with two standardised coefficient, namely the eta-coefficient from analysis of variable and the pseudo R2 measure, Nagelkerke's R2 which is used in multinomial logistic regression. The coefficients will be compared for 18 West European countries and correlations between the various coefficient (with the countries as the units) will be performed in order to answer the research question of whether it really makes much difference which coefficient that are used when comparing the impact of value orientations on party choice.
This research question is also relevant for examining trends in such relationships over time within countries. Unstandardized measures should be used, but standardised measures are frequently used.
The paper will contain substantive comparative analyses in addition to the mentioned methodological issue.

4. The Value Heterogeneity of the European Countries Population: Typology based on Ronald Inglehart indicators
Dr Maksim Rudnev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
Dr Vladimir Magun (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

The goal of the study is to to get a more comprehensive view of both within- and between-country value heterogeneity in Europe using Inglehart's Traditional/Secular-Rational and Survival/Self-Expression values (1997). Following methodology of country values comparisons (Magun, Rudnev, Schmidt, 2012) respondents from 43 European countries were classified by latent class analysis based on indicators of their values.
Three value classes were identified. Class 1 demonstrated high value of obedience and low value of self-directed social action, class 3 had strong preference for independent action and low value of obeying the regulations. Unlike Inglehart's two-factor description of values, classes combine all the items, pointing out the single underlying value dimension.
Country value differences are described by within-country distributions of populations between three value classes. The share of country population belonging to class 1 is negatively and share of members of class 3 is positively related to country level of economic development.
Europeans belonging to value class 2, combine low value of obeying to both earthly and heavenly powers with low value of self-directed activity that results in depriving both of the external and internal sources of activity. Country shares of class 2 are linked with symptoms of social dysfunction like higher alcohol consumption and suicide rates. These facts indicate class 2 as a "transitional" one between the traditional/survival class and the value class, largely represented in the most advanced societies of "high modernity".