Who are the Middle Class and What Values do They Hold? Evidence from the World Values Survey | Asian Development Bank

Who are the Middle Class and What Values do They Hold? Evidence from the World Values Survey

Publication | October 2010
Who are the Middle Class and What Values do They Hold? Evidence from the World Values Survey

Generally, higher class status is correlated with more progressive values that likely to contribute to higher economic growth. The middle class, on the other, has a greater role in demanding greater political accountability.

This paper examines key determinants of class status and the relationship between class status and more progressive values. It finds that class status is largely determined by factors related to higher incomes, but is highly divergent among regions. In general, higher class status is significantly correlated with more progressive values that likely contribute to higher economic growth. However, the middle class appears to have a greater role in political activism compared to the poor and upper classes, indicating that the middle class may be especially crucial in demanding greater political accountability. Thus, policies raising one’s class status through education and better jobs are likely important to creating a society with more progressive values that can contribute to higher economic growth.

Contents 

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Related Literature
  • Data and Descriptives
  • Determinants of Identifying Oneself as Belonging to a Certain Class
  • Attitudes and Values of the Middle Class
  • Variations in Values across Regions
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • References