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

41 Pages Posted: 5 May 2008 Last revised: 26 Jun 2009

See all articles by Martin Kroh

Martin Kroh

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Kroh, Martin, The Preadult Origins of Post-Materialism: A Longitudinal Sibling Study (April 1, 2008). SOEPpaper No. 101, DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 797, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1128182

Martin Kroh (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Berlin, Berlin 14191
Germany

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