Political Science Publications

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Social Science Quarterly

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Objectives Citizens often express that the government should be run like a business or household in the way that money is saved and spent, though individuals vary in their personal financial preferences and attitudes toward money. To explore the relationship between the personal and political, we draw upon research in psychology, economics, and consumer science on personal economic values, such as materialism and the importance of saving money. Methods Using a survey of 340 adults, we test connections between political ideology, the Big Five personality traits, and money conservation and material values. Results Our data suggest that values regarding personal money conservation are unrelated to economic policy attitudes like welfare spending and wealth redistribution, but the value individuals place on material items is predictive of these political preferences. Conclusion By showing the political significance of personal (and nonpolitical) materialism values, we contribute to a rapidly growing literature showing that political attitudes and behaviors are best understood in the context of the larger social world.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

Friesen, A. and Hibbing, M.V. (2016), The Effect of Personal Economic Values on Economic Policy Preferences. Social Science Quarterly, 97: 325-337. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12236

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