Publication details

Inglehart’s Scarcity Hypothesis Revisited : Is Postmaterialism a Macro- or Micro-level Phenomenon around the World?

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NOVÝ Michal SMITH Michael L. KATRŇÁK Tomáš

Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Sociology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Sociology, demography
Keywords cross-level interaction; multilevel modelling; postmaterialist values; postmodernization; scarcity hypothesis
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Description Inglehart’s theory of postmaterialism hinged on the scarcity hypothesis, according to which the spread of postmaterialist values depends on the degree of individuals’ and societies’ existential security, rooted in macro-level economic conditions. But does a country’s level of economic development systematically shape individuals’ existential security, and thus postmaterialism? In this article, the authors revisit this question by utilizing 2010–2014 World Values Survey data for testing whether the effect of existential security on postmaterialism varies by macro-conditions across 59 countries representing 72% of the world’s population. Based on multilevel models, the authors find strong effects of individuals’ socioeconomic conditions on postmaterialism, confirming one aspect of the scarcity hypothesis, but also find weak associations between the effects of those conditions by economic factors at the national level. While there is substantial cross-national variation in the effect of individual scarcity, that variation cannot be accounted for by the macro-conditions predicted by the theory.
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