Changes in Young Europeans' Values During the Global Financial Crisis

Florencia M. Sortheix, Philip D. Parker, Clemens Lechner, Shalom Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We investigate the impact of the global financial crisis (GFC) on the personal values of youth and young adults (age 16-35 years) from 16 European countries. Using time series cross-sectional data from seven waves (2002-2014) of the European Social Survey, we examined (1) whether the GFC led to value shifts between cohorts of young people and (2) whether welfare state provision moderate the expected value shifts. Multilevel analyses showed that, following the GFC, the importance of security, tradition, benevolence, and, to a lesser extent, conformity values increased. In contrast, hedonism, self-direction, and stimulation values decreased. In line with our moderation hypothesis, power, and, to a lesser extent, achievement values increased following the GFC in countries low on welfare expenditures but decreased in countries high on welfare expenditures. Contrary to expectations, increases in tradition and benevolence values were more pronounced in high-welfare countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • values
  • economic crisis
  • young adults
  • Europe
  • WORK
  • 5144 Social psychology

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