Can sustainable consumption be learned? A model of cultural evolution
AbstractThis paper shows how sustainable consumption patterns can spread within a population via processes of social learning even though a strong individual learning bias may favor environmentally harmful products. We present a model depicting how the biased transmission of different behaviors via individual and social learning influences agents' consumption behavior. The underlying learning biases can be traced back to evolved cognitive dispositions. Challenging the vision of a permanent transition toward sustainability, we argue that "green" consumption patterns are not self-reinforcing and cannot be "locked in" permanently.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Consumer behavior Cultural evolution Learning Sustainability Evolutionary economics;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Corning, Peter, 2005. "Holistic Darwinism," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226116136.
- Ropke, Inge, 1999. "The dynamics of willingness to consume," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 399-420, March.
- Brennan, Timothy J., 2006. ""Green" preferences as regulatory policy instrument," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 144-154, January.
- Wilhelm Ruprecht, 2005. "The historical development of the consumption of sweeteners - a learning approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 247-272, 08.
- Wagner, Jeffrey, 2006. "On the economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 659-664, June.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
- Jackson, Tim, 2002. "Evolutionary psychology in ecological economics: consilience, consumption and contentment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 289-303, May.
- World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808.
- Eshel, Ilan & Samuelson, Larry & Shaked, Avner, 1998. "Altruists, Egoists, and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 157-79, March.
- Joseph E. Harrington & Jr., 1999. "Rigidity of Social Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 40-64, February.
- C. Cordes, 2003.
"Long-term Tendencies in Technological Creativity - A Preference-based Approach,"
Papers on Economics and Evolution
2003-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Christian Cordes, 2005. "Long-term tendencies in technological creativity - a preference-based approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 149-168, January.
- Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell & Guiseppe Munda, 1998. "Models of Individual Behavior and Implications for Environmental Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-121/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Munda, Giuseppe, 2000. "Alternative models of individual behaviour and implications for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 43-61, January.
- Christian Cordes, 2004.
"The Human Adaptation for Culture and its Behavioral Implications,"
Journal of Bioeconomics,
Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 143-163, May.
- C. Cordes, 2004. "The Human Adaptation for Culture and its Behavioral Implications," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2003-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Windrum, Paul & Birchenhall, Chris, 1998. "Is product life cycle theory a special case? Dominant designs and the emergence of market niches through coevolutionary-learning," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 109-134, March.
- Boyd, Robert & Richerson, Peter J., 1980. "Sociobiology, culture and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-121, June.
- Witt, Ulrich, 1992. " The Endogenous Public Choice Theorist," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 117-29, January.
- Sartorius, Christian, 2006. "Second-order sustainability--conditions for the development of sustainable innovations in a dynamic environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 268-286, June.
- Janssen, Marco A. & Jager, Wander, 2001. "Fashions, habits and changing preferences: Simulation of psychological factors affecting market dynamics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 745-772, December.
- Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
- Ingmar Schumacher, 2013. "An Empirical Study of the Determinants of Green Party Voting," Working Papers 5, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
- Delacote, Philippe & Montagné-Huck, Claire, 2012. "Political consumerism and public policy: Good complements against market failures?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 188-193.
- Safarzyńska, Karolina, 2013. "Evolutionary-economic policies for sustainable consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 187-195.
- Christian Schubert & Andreas Chai, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Sovereignty," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-14, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- van Kempen, Luuk & Muradian, Roldan & Sandóval, César & Castañeda, Juan-Pablo, 2009. "Too poor to be green consumers? A field experiment on revealed preferences for firewood in rural Guatemala," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2160-2167, May.
- Alex Coad & Peter de Haan & Julia Sophie Woersdorfer, 2008.
"Consumer support for environmental policies: An application to purchases of green cars,"
Jena Economic Research Papers
2008-035, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Coad, Alex & de Haan, Peter & Woersdorfer, Julia Sophie, 2009. "Consumer support for environmental policies: An application to purchases of green cars," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2078-2086, May.
- Safarzyńska, Karolina & Frenken, Koen & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2012. "Evolutionary theorizing and modeling of sustainability transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1011-1024.
- Ingmar Schumacher, 2009.
"The dynamics of Environmentalism and the Environment,"
- Schumacher, Ingmar, 2009. "The dynamics of environmentalism and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2842-2849, September.
- Hedlund-de Witt, Annick, 2011. "The rising culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality: A sociological study of potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1057-1065, April.
- Nathalie Lazaric & Kevin Maréchal, 2010. "Overcoming inertia: insights from evolutionary economics into improved energy and climate policy," Post-Print hal-00452205, HAL.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.