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The Preadult Origins of Post-Materialism: A Longitudinal Sibling Study

  • Martin Kroh
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    Using a research design that traces siblings' preferences for postmaterialistic values in Germany over two decades, this paper provides new evidence on the origins of value preferences. Focusing on Inglehart's thesis of value change, we test the combined socialization and scarcity hypothesis against the social learning hypothesis, a prominent rival account of preadult value preference formation. Sibling estimates show that the shared preadult environment does indeed exert lasting effects on the permanent component of preferences for post-materialistic policies. In addition to weak effect of the shared experience of socioeconomic scarcity, we find that the intergenerational transmission of postmaterialism - which is disregarded by Inglehart's original thesis - plays a significant role in value preference acquisition. We discuss the implications of our individual-level findings for forecasts of aggregate-level trends in value change.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.84740.de/dp797.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 797.

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    Length: 38 p.
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp797
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    1. Gary Solon & Mary Corcoran & GRoger Gordon & Deborah Laren, 1991. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Sibling Correlations in Economic Status," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 509-534.
    2. Brian Francis & Regina Dittrich & Reinhold Hatzinger & Roger Penn, 2002. "Analysing partial ranks by using smoothed paired comparison methods: an investigation of value orientation in Europe," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 51(3), pages 319-336.
    3. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    4. Anders Skrondal & Sophia Rabe-Hesketh, 2003. "Multilevel logistic regression for polytomous data and rankings," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 68(2), pages 267-287, June.
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