Date added: March 1999

Bodo Linscheid

FiFo / März 1999 / Diskussionsbeitrag, FiFo

Sustainable development requires a fundamental change of consumption patterns in the long run which cannot be appropriately analysed within the traditional neoclassical paradigm. This essay discusses the implications of alternative theoretical approaches, such as household prodduction theory, the neoinstitutional concept of bounded rationality and the evolutionary concept of path-dependency. Compared to neoclassical economics, these approaches paint a different picture of the determinants of consumer behaviour with far-reaching theoretical and political implications. Firstly, a sustainable change of consumption patterns does not appear to be a problem of individual welfare losses, but rather of overcoming a social and institutional lock-in. Consequently, we need new efficiency criteria appropriate to assess dynamic social processes. Secondly, behavioural change is not only influenced by relative prices. The design of institutional arrangements should therefore consider other factors such as information barriers, social norms of behaviour and cumulative processes of imitation.

Download directly from our server :


We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.