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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.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Florencia M. Sortheix, Philip D. Parker, Clemens M. Lechner, and Shalom H. Schwartz, Changes in Young Europeans’ Values During the Global Financial Crisis, Social Psychological and Personality Science, pp. 1-11. Copyright © 2017 (The authors). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/1948550617732610