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Out now: Mechanisms of the Effect of Individual Education on Pro-European Dispositions

Fernández, J.; Teney, C. & Díez Medrano, J. (2023)

News from Nov 16, 2023

in: Journal of Common Market Studies | open access


A burgeoning empirical literature on attitudes towards Europe shows that highly educated individuals are more likely to hold pro-European dispositions than non-highly educated individuals. The literature provides structural and cultural accounts for this relationship. The structural account highlights that formal education contributes to earning higher incomes and attaining an upper-class occupation, which are conducive to pro-European dispositions. The cultural account instead highlights that formal education instils universalist and non-traditionalist values in individuals, which are conducive to pro-European dispositions. This is the first article to assess the relative predictive power of these two approaches. Using structural equation models, Rounds 8–10 of the European Social Survey and three indicators of pro-European dispositions, this article examines whether socio-economic location measured by income and upper-class occupation or commitment to human values measured by universalism and traditionalism mediates this association. All in all, the structural approach receives stronger support than the cultural one.

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