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F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I.

2008-2009 1

Citizens’ Acceptance of the Euro


- Quantitative Data Analysis -

Tutor: M. Huser
ID ******
J. Hoogenboezem F. Arab
ID ******
Pigeonhole 584
Date: 02-02-2009
Course 2.C (3)
Assignment 2
Final Draft
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 2

With the introduction of the euro in Slovakia in 2009 the Euro zone has been extended, now
compromising sixteen states. The objective of our research is to find out more about the
citizens’ relationship with the euro as well as which part of the population appreciates the
common currency the most. In this paper four established hypothesis shall be assessed and
either proven or disproven. With the aim in mind to include as many population clusters as
possible, the survey was not limited to a certain area in Maastricht but was extended to
include several areas such as the Randwyck and the city centre. Using the occasional “simple
random sampling” method, thirty-one respondents at the age of sixteen to seventy were
interviewed. Altogether twelve questions were asked, serving to enable the usage of
inductively generalized statements (Neumann, 2003). In the following, a critical reflection on
the problems that emerged during the conduction of the survey will be given. Then, the
acquired raw results will be fed into SPSS, producing output which will serve to explain the
four hypotheses. In the final part an answer to the above stated research question will be
given.
During the survey we encountered some of the expected problems. Firstly, a number
of respondents were suspicious and wanted to know for what purpose their answers will be
used. We had to explain that we are students from the Maastricht University conducting a
survey in the framework of a Quantitative Data Analysis course. Moreover, we assured them
that the results will be handled confidentially and that they will not be associated with them
(hence, they stay anonymous). Secondly, some respondents initially hesitated to tell us their
exact age. The fear of the intrusion of their privacy might be an explanation for this
behaviour. Due to this ethical issue, we can estimate that some answers are inaccurate
(Gilbert, 2008). Thirdly, question 7 dealing with the reaction upon the introduction of the euro
in 2002 as well as question 9 on how long it took them to get used to paying with it turned out
to be problematic. Most of the respondents could only provide answers based on estimates
due to the phenomenon of memory decay. We were trying to retrieve information which laid
years in the past. On that ground, some of them even did not give us an applicable answer.
This “’non-recorded’ information” is invalid data (Johnson, & Reynolds, 2005, p. 310). For
the analysis it is important to distinguish, therefore, between the “sample size” including this
“missing data” as well as the “valid responses” excluding it (Ibid.). The same difficulty
applies for the business men and women interviewed, whose profession requires them to
travel a lot. They could not always tell us certainly how often they travelled in the year 2008.
In the next part, the results of the analysis of the four hypotheses will be represented.
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 3

Hypothesis 1: There is a negative relationship between age and acceptance of the euro
currency.

The first hypothesis revolves around a possible negative relationship between age and
acceptance of the euro currency. This negative relationship was established on the grounds
that older people are decreasingly able to adjust to unfamiliar circumstances and situations
such as a new currency.

Figure 1
Relationship between Age and Acceptance of the Euro

    
6,00 Linear Regression

     
Acceptanc e of the Euro

5,00

    
4,00

    
3,00

Accep tance of the Eur o = 5,84 + -0,05 * Age


2,00   
R-Sq uare = 0,28


1,00

20,00 30,00 40,00 50,00 60,00 70,00

Age

In figure 1, this negative relationship between age and acceptance of the euro is clearly
evident. With increasing age the acceptance of the euro stated by the respondent decreases
accordingly. Hence, the hypothesis is confirmed. The fact that the linear regression curve is
close to 45° indicates a rather strong negative correlation between the two variables.
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 4

Hypothesis 2: There is a positive relationship between the degree of education, detailed


knowledge about the currency, and the wish to keep the euro.

The second hypothesis claims a positive relationship between the degree of education,
detailed knowledge about the currency, and the wish to keep the euro. This hypothesis was
established on the claim that educated people have more knowledge about the euro, including
the reasons for its introduction as well as the consequences. Thus, they might be more likely
to recognize the advantages of the common currency. As can be seen in cross-tabulation 1,
educated respondents are usually in favor of the euro. Indeed, people with college (9 to 1) and
university (12 to 1) education do not want to see the euro abolished. However, the number of
lower educated respondents is too small and, hence, unrepresentative in order to make a
significant statement about a positive or negative relationship between the degree of education
and the wish to keep the euro. Regarding the respondents with high school education, for
example, there is also the tendency that most of them are in favor of keeping the common
currency. Thus, we cannot definitely maintain that higher educated people are more in favor
of keeping the euro than people with lower graduation. Consequently, the first part of the
hypothesis can be confirmed to that extent that people with education tend to appreciate the
euro.

Wish to Absolish the


Cross-tabulation 1
Euro
Degree of Education * Wish to
Yes No Total
Abolish the Euro Crosstabulation
Degree of Secondary 2 0 2
Education
High school 1 3 4

College 1 9 10

University 1 12 13

Other 0 1 1

None 0 1 1

Total 5 26 31

The second part of this hypothesis involves associating this data with the impact of
voluntarily and consciously gained knowledge about the European economy. The question is
whether knowledge about the EU economy influences the respondents’ wish to keep the euro.
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 5

The cross-tabulation 2 suggests that this intervening variable (reading/watching economy


related news) does not necessarily have a significant impact on the dependent variable (wish
to abolish the euro). Hence, many respondents who do not following European economy
related news are still in favor of keeping the euro. It is rather the degree of education which
might represent the decisive factor in this hypothesis.

Cross-tabulation 2
Degree of Education * Wish to Absolish the Euro * Reading/Watching Economy Related News

Wish to Absolish the


Euro
Reading/Watching
Economy Related News Yes No Total

Yes Degree of High school 1 0 1


Education
College 0 3 3

University 1 9 10

Total 2 12 14

No Degree of Secondary 2 0 2
Education
High school 0 3 3

College 1 6 7

University 0 3 3

Other 0 1 1

None 0 1 1

Total 3 14 17

Hypothesis 3: There is a relationship between time passed since the introduction of the euro,
gender, and the degree of acceptance of the euro

The first part of this hypothesis suggests that the acceptance of the euro increases in course of
the time, as dealing with the Euro in everyday life leads to increasing familiarization and
acceptance. By comparing the acceptance of the Euro in 2002, the year of its introduction, and
the current acceptance of the Euro, this part of the hypothesis has been confirmed (see figures
2 and 3). On a scale from 1 to 6, a majority of the respondents rate their reaction upon the
introduction of the Euro in 2002 with a 3 (32%), i.e. neutral but slightly negative or with a 4
(26%), i.e. slightly positive. Only 6% indicated an acceptance of 5 and 6 respectively. When
asking the respondents about their attitude regarding the euro in 2009, the degree of
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 6

acceptance shifted in a positive manner (increase). Thus, the acceptance of category 5


increased to 29%, and that of category 6 to 16%. Consequently, there is a positive relationship
between time passed and the acceptance of the euro as the majority of respondents improved
their view on the euro over the past 6 years significantly.

Figure 2

Acceptance of the Euro at the beginning of 2002

Bars show perc ents


30%

20%
Perce nt

10%

1 0% 1 9% 3 2% 2 6% 6% 6%

n =3 n =6 n =1 0 n =8 n =2 n =2
0%
1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00 5,00 6,00

Reaction upon the Introduction of Euro

Figure 3  Acceptance of the Euro at the beginning of 2009

30%
Bars show perc ents

20%
Perce nt

10%

3% 1 0% 1 9% 2 3% 2 9% 1 6%

n =1 n =3 n =6 n =7 n =9 n =5
0%
1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00 5,00 6,00

Acceptance of the Euro


F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 7

Concerning the intervening variable (gender), figure 5 indicates that women take on average
longer to get used to paying with the Euro. Thus, it can be said that men are likely to accept
the euro more rapidly. However, figure 4 shows that one female respondent who took (with
more than 300 weeks) extraordinary long to get used to paying with the Euro might distort the
results. This explains the major difference of nearly 30% between the means of the genders
visible in figure 5.
Figure 4

Relations hip between tim e to get Us ed


Figure
to 4 with the Euro and Gender
Paying
Time to get used to paying with the Euro


300,00

200,00

 
100,00

 

 

 



 

0,00

Mal e Female

Gender

Rel a ti onshi p betw een ti m e to get Use d


Figure 5  to Pa yi ng w i th the Euro a nd Gend er

Figure 4
Bars show Means

Female n =1 4 5 1, 1 4
Gender

Mal e n =1 5 2 1, 2 0

10,00 20,00 30,00 40,00 50,00

Time to get used to paying w ith the Euro


F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 8

Hypothesis 4: There is a positive relationship between travelling across national borders


(within the Euro zone) and the acceptance of the euro.

The fourth hypothesis claims that there is a positive relationship between travelling across EU
borders (within the Euro Zone) and the acceptance of the euro. This claim is backed up by the
theory that respondents who travel more often within the Euro zone are more likely to
appreciate the advantages and conveniences of a common currency. As can be observed in the
linear regression in figure 6, the hypothesis has been confirmed. There is a positive
relationship between travelling within the Euro zone and acceptance of the Euro.

Figure 6
Figure
Relations hip between Travelling within the Euro Zone and the Acceptance of the Euro

50,00 
Linear R egression
Travelling within the Euro zone

40,00

30,00

20,00

Trav elling within the Euro zone = 0,88 + 1,40 * EurAcc ept
10,00
R -Square = 0,03


  
   
   
   
  
0,00

1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00 5,00 6,00

Acceptance of the Euro

conveniences of a common currency. As can be observed in the linear regression in figure 6,


the hypothesis has been confirmed. There is a positive relationship between travelling within
the Euro zone and acceptance of the Euro.

Hence, the more the respondents travel within the Euro zone, the more they are likely to
experience and therefore appreciate the conveniences, the common euro currency offers (e.g.
of not having to exchange money).
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 9

In conclusion it can be said that with exception of hypothesis 2 all hypothesis were confirmed.
With regard to the applied “simple random sampling” method we arrive at the following
generalizing conclusion: The euro currency is most likely accepted among the citizens living
within the Euro zone. Thereby, there is the general tendency that people get used to paying
with the euro in course of the time, hence, accept it. The first part of the research question,
thus, could be answered. Concerning the second part of the research question, i.e. which
groups of the population is more likely to appreciate the euro, it can be stated that younger
people, men and people travelling more appreciate the euro more than any other group which
was part of the survey.
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 10

References

Gilbert, N. (2008). Researching Social Life (3rd edition). London: Sage.

Johnson, J.B., & Reynolds, H. T. (2005). Political Science Social Research Methods (5th
edition). Washington: CQPress.

Neumann, W. (2003). Social Research Methods (5th edition). London: Sage.


F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 11

ANNEX
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 12

- EURO CURRENCY QUESTIONNAIRE -

1. Which currency did you mainly used before the introduction of the euro?
o ______________________________

2. From the age ranges below, which age range applies to you?
o Years ____

3. On a scale from 1-6, how do you rate your current acceptance of the euro?
o MIN 1 o 4
o 2 o 5
o 3 o MAX 6

4. What is your degree of education?


o Secondary o University
o High school o Other
o College o None

5. Do you read/watch European economy related news?


o Yes o No

6. Would you like to see the euro abolished?


o Yes o No

7. On a scale from 1-6, how did you react upon the introduction of the euro?
o NEGATIVE 1 o 4
o 2 o 5
o 3 o POSITIVE 6

8. What is your gender?


o Male o Female

9. How long did it take you to get used to paying with the euro?
o ___ weeks o ___ years
o ___ months o Not applicable

10. On average, how often to do you travel a year?


o ________ times
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 13

11. Of those times, how often within the Euro zone (exact number)?
o Austria o Italy
o Belgium o Luxembourg
o Cyprus o Malta
o Finland o Netherlands
o France o Portugal
o Germany o Slovenia
o Greece o Spain
o Ireland

12. Does your profession require you to travel within the Euro zone?
o Yes
o No
o Not communicated
F. Arab // M. Huser 2C Skills – Quantitative Data Analysis I. 2008-2009 14