P9: Values and well-being
(Change in values and subjective well-being)

PIs: Klasen (leading), Dreher, Ibanez

Arguably, peoples' value system crucially depends on the degree of globalization, and possibly even their subjective well-being. The World Value Survey (WVS) includes a number of questions that allow testing previously under-researched topics. By combining globalization and values data it becomes possible to investigate the impact of globalization on a wide array of peoples' value systems, spanning the areas of environmental policies, trust, fairness, tolerance, and religiosity, among many others. For example, we would expect globalization to strengthen peoples' concern for environmental preservation.In this project, we intend to revisit the association between inequality and happiness, arguing that perceived fairness of the existing income distribution affects happiness. We also want to investigate the precise transmission mechanisms of globalization on value change, in particular, in relation to improved access to information and communication technologies (ICT). We further ask whether and to what extent religiosity and/ or the spread of certain religions are affected by (other) dimensions of globalization because the spread of different religions can be seen as another consequence of globalization, or being part of it. We finally, want to examine the roles of values and globalization on the measurement of well-being and poverty because current measures of income and non-income poverty are based on absolute notions of deprivation but as countries grow, aspirations rise, values change, and the resources required to be non-poor change, as well.

Possible dissertation topics

  • Globalization, aspirations, and subjective poverty
  • Drivers of aspirations and relative poverty in developing countries
  • The linkages between religiosity, norms, and development outcomesing.