western european societal values

following up on the “mexican societal values” post — someone suggested via email that the world values scores on the same “justifed” questions for greece and southern italy might likely be lower than the scores for mexico, while the scores from scandinavian countries and maybe germany might likely be higher than for american whites. i agreed that those two scenarios could possibly be the case. i decided to check.

first of all — no greece in the most recent world values survey (dr*t!). i looked at all the major western european nations i could find in the most recent world values survey wave (2005-2008): finland, france, germany, great britain, italy, the netherlands, norway, spain, and sweden. (documentation of the data can be found here.)

i had planned to sort the data by ethnic group so as to just look at whites, but many of these countries didn’t record the ethnicity of the respondents (*facepalm*). on the first question — “Is it ever justifiable to claim government benefits to which you are not entitled” — for those countries that did ask ethnicity, the total scores were, with the exception of france, pretty similar to the scores for just whites (presumably because, despite all the immigration to europe, it was mostly white europeans that were surveyed)…

nation – total score (whites only score)
france – 51.60% (41.10%)
finland – 55.90% (55.80%)
sweden – 61.60% (62.40%)
great britain – 63.60% (65.50%)
italy – 74.70% (74.70%)

…so i decided to use the total scores for each nation instead of just those for whites. keep this in mind. the scores are, at best, an approximation of how native europeans feel — at worst, they’re way off!

as in the previous post, i looked at four of the “justifiable” questions:

Please tell me for each of the following statements whether you think it can always be justified, never be justified, or something in between [on a scale from 1 to 10, never to always]:

– Claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled.
– Avoiding a fare on public transport.
– Cheating on taxes if you have a chance.
– Someone accepting a bribe in the course of their duties.

here are the results for each country of those who answered “Never justifiable” (click on charts for LARGER versions — you can compare these to the mexican and american scores here)…

– Claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled. – Never justifiable.

wvs - 2005 2006 - western europe - justifiable - government benefits

– Avoiding a fare on public transport. – Never justifiable.

wvs - 2005 2006 - western europe - justifiable - avoiding fare

– Cheating on taxes if you have a chance. – Never justfiable.

wvs - 2005 2006 - western europe - justifiable - cheating on taxes

– Someone accepting a bribe in the course of their duties. – Never justifiable.

wvs - 2005 2006 - western europe - justifiable - accepting a bribe

the netherlands ftw! but what’s with all the high scores from italy?! isn’t that interesting?! we all know that italy is pretty corrupt — maybe even they are just sick and tired of all the corruption? dunno.

all of these western european nations scored higher than mexico on the first two questions: claiming government benefits and avoiding a fare — although the swedes came pretty close to white mexicans when it came to avoiding a fare on public transport.

only italy and the netherlands scored higher than white americans wrt claiming government benefits — and germany, italy, and the netherlands scored higher than white americans on the avoiding a fare question. swedes scored lower than white americans.

except for the netherlands, italy, and spain, most of the europeans scored around the same as mexicans wrt cheating on taxes. go figure! they all scored lower than white americans.

and sweden, france, germany, great britain, and even finland scored very like mexicans when it came to accepting a bribe — quite a few of them think that sometimes it could be justified. and again, except for the italians and the dutch, everyone scored lower than white americans.

so, no — on the whole, scandinavians and germans don’t outscore white americans on these societal values questions. the dutch generally do, though — as do frequently the italians!
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what about southern italians versus mexicans? here are the results for some of the different regions of italy (i excluded those regions where the sample size was less than 50). i’ve color-coded the regions — north=blue, central=green, south=red:

– Claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled. – Never justifiable.

wvs - italy regions - justifiable - claiming government benefits

– Avoiding a fare on public transport. – Never justifiable.

wvs - italy regions - justifiable - avoiding fare

– Cheating on taxes if you have a chance. – Never justfiable.

wvs - italy regions - justifiable - cheating on taxes

– Someone accepting a bribe in the course of their duties. – Never justifiable.

wvs - italy regions - justifiable - accepting a bribe

all italians — including southern italians — score much, much higher than mexicans on the claiming government benefits question — like by thirty to forty percentage points. similar story for avoiding a public fare, although lazio and tuscany in central italy scored only ca. ten to fifteen points higher than (white) mexicans in this case.

more italians — including sicilians — agree with mexicans on the cheating on taxes question. this time, lazio, tuscany, and lombardy all scored very much the same as mexicans. and all italians say that they are not tolerant of bribe taking much more so than mexicans — especially southern italians (sicilians and puglians) — even though they don’t seem to be able to (heh) put their money where their mouths are.

the interesting divide in italy appears to be not so much a north-south divide as a central area vs. north/south. while venice and lombardy in the north did tend to score highest most of the time, it was the central regions of tuscany and lazio that tended to score lowest, not the southern regions.
_____

what would be interesting to know is how these various groups (italians, swedes, etc.) feel about these issue in the united states — iow, how would italian-americans respond? i’ll try to see if i can find out. stay tuned!
_____

previously: mexican societal values and more nepotism in southern than in northern italy… and democracy in italy

(note: comments do not require an email. terracina duomo in lazia.)

6 Comments

  1. Morning,

    I think the ability to find data categorised by ethnicity will become increasingly difficult.

    The 2011 UK Census contains for the first time a question about Identity. There is a London talk show that daily tells its audience that ‘if you are born in England, your are English’.

    I think ethnic monitoring will fade out.

    European ethnicity is now more diverse than it was but Europeans are still as far as I can observe, European in mentality. But since virtually no-one talks about European as an ethnicity, the term is available for redefinition and that is what is happening.

    I think this paper demonstrates what I mean.

    Click to access infantmortalityevent200611presentation2.pdf

    The same happened over the grooming cases – there is an ongoing inquiry into child abuse, it barely investigates ethnicity as a driver. The grooming case has been hidden amongst other quite different but European-related categories of child abuse. But then we’re all European now so there’s no need to use sub-categories.

    I think it is probably too late but still worth abandoning colour categories. European birth rates are low but as an ethnicity it is expanding but the admixed component is being hived off into another category, thus forcing Europeans into a minority colour ghetto. If it’s genes that matter then the admixed component should be embraced?

    Reply

  2. @big nose kate – “The same happened over the grooming cases – there is an ongoing inquiry into child abuse, it barely investigates ethnicity as a driver.”

    argh! don’t even get me started over the grooming cases. makes my blood pressure go up by 20 or 30 points! (see here and here for example.)

    Reply

  3. To be honest, I find it quite imaginable that people would be justified in, e.g. cheating on their taxes. It is just not really justifiable in, for instance, my country and for most people.

    Reply

  4. maybe even they are just sick and tired of all the corruption?

    Well, duh. The reason Italians are so strongly opposed to corruption is that they’re more exposed to it in the first place.

    For the Nordics, cheating on taxes is more of a theoretical thing. Leftists that they are, they probably think there’s something romantically transgressive about it.

    Reply

  5. @ihtg – “The reason Italians are so strongly opposed to corruption is that they’re more exposed to it in the first place.”

    yes, but it’s kinda funny/sad/interesting that, despite all the apparent opposition to it, they still don’t manage to get rid of it. curiouser and curioser….

    @ihtg – “For the Nordics, cheating on taxes is more of a theoretical thing.”

    well, i start to wonder how theoretical it is there…? they do have some pretty high taxes in scandinavia — maybe there’s more fiddling on the tax returns there than they’ll admit to.

    Reply

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