Title: Sustainable consumption: a crucial aspect of research in economics

Authors: Reinhard Paulesich

Addresses: Institute for Regional and Environmental Economics and Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, A – 1090 Wien Nordbergstrasse 15, Bauteil B, 4. Stock, Austria

Abstract: This paper shows the necessity to look at research in the field of sustainable consumption from a wider angle. Quantitative approaches aimed at reducing resource consumption by to a fourth or a tenth of the current rate additionally require qualitative approaches for operationalisation. These qualitative approaches within consumption research are currently leading to new findings about consumer preferences, with efficiency and sufficiency being keywords within this frame. Sufficiency is paired with effectiveness. The paper proposes an argumentation in the case of end consumer markets to put the research focus more on milieu studies than on demographic characteristics for getting a deeper understanding of preferences.

Keywords: sustainable consumption; consumer research; social contextualisation; economics; consumer preferences; efficiency; sufficiency; effectiveness; industrial ecology.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2008.018550

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2008 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.149 - 159

Published online: 30 May 2008 *

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