The expansion of higher education and post-materialistic attitudes to work in Europe: evidence from the European values study
The article focuses on the relationship between higher education and post-materialistic attitudes to work, and how it has changed following the recent expansion of systems of higher education in Europe. Using data from the European Values Study on 28 countries with the time frame between 1990 and 2008, the analysis shows that the previously observed link between higher education and post-materialism also applies to work values. Higher-educated Europeans were both more post-materialistic and less materialistic in their work orientations than their lower-educated counterparts. This association was, however, weakened by tertiary expansion. Work-related post-materialism declined with the increasing share of university-educated individuals in the working-age population. Interestingly, so, too, did work-related materialism, yet only until the expansion reached 25%, then it gradually increased. It is suggested that these developments, at least in part, stem from the changing position of higher-educated workers in the labour market.