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Working paper

Value Adaptation to a New Social Environment: Impacts From Country of Birth and Country of Residence On Values of Intra-European Migrants

This paper challenges the common assumption that basic human values remain stable during the lifetime of an individual. The author demonstrates individual value change by studying migrants’ values which are prone to change after a move to a new country. Using cross-sectional data, the author estimated the relative impacts of country of birth and country of residence – and values that are common – on individual values of migrants. Values were measured by Schwartz’s questionnaire as well as Inglehart’s Self-Expression items. Cross-classified multilevel regression models were applied to the sample of migrants, selected from five rounds of the European Social Survey.  The results demonstrated the significance of both the country of residence and the country of birth as well as values which are common in these countries. Surprisingly, the impact of the country of residence on migrants’ values appeared to be higher than the country of birth. Furthermore, values which are common in the country of residence have a higher impact on migrant values than values widespread in their country of birth. The findings suggest that values are only partly formed during the formative period and keep changing throughout a person’s life.