ESRA 2019 Programme at a Glance


Using the European Values Study (1981-2017) for the Comparative Study of Value Change: Substantive Insights and Methodological Challenges

Session Organisers Dr Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University)
Dr Vera Lomazzi (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
TimeFriday 19th July, 09:00 - 10:30
Room D30

In these times of permanent global social change and dramatic transformations in Europe, the question about value changes is immanent. Ongoing technological developments induce transformations in social communication and in the working life. The working conditions of the Europeans are still scarred by the recent recession, visible in high unemployment rates, especially in the Southern countries. The refugee crisis divides Northern and Southern Europe; terrorism threats became part of social life. Events as the Brexit referendum, the rise of populist and extreme-right wing parties, and the difficulty in the formation of viable governments caused political uncertainty in many European countries. Do these events affect the values of the Europeans and in which manner? Data from survey programs like the European Values Study (EVS) are crucial for investigating such issues.
The EVS is a large-scale, cross-national, repeated cross-sectional survey research programme on human values. It provides insights into the beliefs, attitudes, values, and opinions of citizens all over Europe on topics as family, work, environment, perceptions of life, politics and society, religion and morality, national identity. EVS has an extensive geographical coverage and spans almost 40 years with surveys in 1981, 1990, 1999, 2008, and 2017. Even though several items have been changed over time, EVS still includes an impressive number of unchanged questions. Moreover, its comparability with the World Values Survey is massive, yielding global comparisons. In the 2017 wave, EVS and WVS agreed to cooperate for the data collection in Europe and coordinated the questionnaire’s design.
Wave after wave, the program made many efforts to improve the quality of the data and their suitability for comparative analysis. In the 2017 wave, most of these efforts are in the direction of increasing the centralization and the harmonization of the fieldwork procedures, concerning the translation process, fieldwork monitoring, mode of data collection, sampling design, etc.
This session welcomes paper proposals based on EVS, or EVS in combination with other survey data, possibly exploiting the very recent data of the last wave. We are particularly interested in papers which make use of the comparative potential of EVS from a methodological and a substantive perspective, both cross-nationally and over time.

Keywords: EVS, values, social change

The Effect of Modernization and Secularization on Attitudes towards Euthanasia in Spain

Dr Lluís Coromina (University of Girona) - Presenting Author
Dr Edurne Bartolomé (University of Deusto)

Attitudes towards euthanasia and classic issues related to the end of life and the opinions on how much control individuals should on these processes are changing dramatically alongside with a deep transformation of societies on related value domains. This paper analyzes the evolution of attitudes towards euthanasia in Spain between 1990 and 2018. Using EVS data for the Spanish population, we aim at deconstructing the Age, period and cohort effects explaining the evolution of these attitudes. In order to do so, we use data from the European Values Study from 1990, 1999, 2008 and 2018. Age and the effect of life cycle is a clear correlate for attitudes towards the end of life in a sense that people tend to justify less this issue becomes more relevant or salient in the final stages of life. But modernization and the process of individualization and secularization have also contributed to a higher justification of such practices through a sense of control over life and death decisions. We explore period changes, differences between cohorts, as well as intracohort changes over time. In order to do so, we decompose the social change and effects on attitudes towards Euthanasia Beyond the classical age, period and cohort aspects, other elements will be taken into account, such as religiosity, gender, education and values by using cross classified fixed effects models. The analyses show the different effects of age, socialization, socioeconomic characteristics and values on the evolution of attitudes towards euthanasia in Spain.


Examine Values in Postmodern Societies: Investigating Intra-Country Measurement Invariance of Inglehart’s Short Version of Post-Materialism Scale Between Different Socio-Economic Groups

Mr Maximilian Etzel (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences) - Presenting Author

Relevance and Research Question

Since its first publication in 1971 Inglehart’s approach of cultural change as a result of changes in political values engages numerous theoretical and empirical researches focusing on its mechanism of intergenerational shifting from materialism to post-materialism values. In the last few years, facing current political phenomena like e.g. Trump’s election, Inglehart’s theory achieved new relevance according to the question whether there is a reverse of assumed “silent Revolution” (Inglehart 1977) in western countries (Inglehart/Norris 2017). To measure (post-)materialism, Inglehart (1977) applies four item ranking scale whose usability in cross-cultural and longitudinal comparisons according to its measurement invariance is tested by Ippel et al. (2014). The purpose of present study (taking into account the possible explanatory power of these measures in the light of populism and similar constructs) is to examine the goodness of measurement invariance and its applicability of aforesaid instrument in intra-cultural contexts by investigating the comparability of its measurements across different social groups within a country.

Methods, Data and Results

To answer these questions, I use data on Inglehart’s (post-)materialism-scale from European Values Study 2008 to carry out MGCFAs and compare common Fit Indices. Tackling the problem of the ipsative nature of the data collected by ranking scales which make them inappropriate for SEM-based analysis the CFA-procedure is modified by an approach based on Jackson and Alwin (1980), Chan and Bentler (1993) and its developing by Cheung (2004). For the examination of measurement invariance between socio-economic groups, several model-comparisons on the basis of demographic variables (paying special attention to age cohorts) will be reported.

Added Value

It is intended to apply above analysis also to EVS2017 Data (Pre-Release is planned for December 2018) and compare results to EVS2008 findings.


The Determinants of the Link between Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction: The Evidence of the EVS Data from 1981 to 2008

Dr Natalia Soboleva (Laboratory for Comparative Social Research Higher School of Economics) - Presenting Author

Work is one of the main factors of subjective well-being in general and life satisfaction in particular (Sousa-Poza 2000; Argyle 2001; Radcliff 2005; Kalleberg 2011). With growing importance of nonmaterial spheres of life individuals wish jobs to fulfill their needs in self-realization and creativity (Inglehart, Welzel 2010). In developed countries people tend to work fewer hours. Employment contracts become more flexible and therefore people can easier combine main job with side jobs, voluntary work and family related affairs. At the same time the labour market became more precarious with a lot of temporary contracts and uncertainty in future (Kalleberg 2012). The study aims to disclose the determinants of the association between life and job satisfaction cross-nationally and over time. The determinants include work values as well as socio-demographic and country characteristics. The European Values Study 1981 to 2008 (three waves) is used as dataset. The sample is limited to employed, self-employed and working for own family business.
The results show that countries experience different trends in relation between life satisfaction and job satisfaction. In countries with higher GDP per capita there is a weaker link between life satisfaction and job satisfaction. Hence, in more economically developed countries job is less important part of life. Those individuals who appreciate in jobs non-material aspects such as career achievement and self-realization have a stronger association between life and job satisfaction. For higher educated individuals the association between life satisfaction and job satisfaction is stronger. Individuals with high educational level are more qualified and often invest more in their jobs. Also, self-employed demonstrate higher job involvement whereas part-timers connect job satisfaction with life satisfaction less. The association between life satisfaction and job satisfaction is stronger for men. The study demonstrates the change in work values and the role of job in people’s life.


Import of Solidarity. Does Romania Change Due to Migration of its Citizens

Dr Bogdan Voicu (Romanian Academy) - Presenting Author

Social solidarity is deeply embedded in pervasive cultures of solidarity. Individuals do change at contact with social norms existing in their culture of residence (Arts, 2011; Beck & Beck-Gersanyi, 2001; Gundelach, 1994). This paper looks at individual-level social solidarity, and considers the differences between those returned from migration, those mediated exposed to another culture, and those who never migrated or have no mediated exposure. Mediated exposure is given by having close friends or relatives abroad. The Romanian version of EVS 2017 provides the data for testing, with measures of social solidarity at individual level, as well as with a module that identify direct or mediated exposure to other countries. For these countries, if European, previous waves of EVS provide indicators for their native norms of social solidarity. A previous paper (Voicu et al, 2014) shows that the EVS measure of solidarity is invariant from the point of view of its measuring across countries and time. Using multiple group membership multilevel models, the paper tests for association between the social solidarity expressed by individuals in the Romanian EVS 2017 sample, and the one typical to the countries where they or their friends have migrated.