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Addressing sufficiency: Including altruistic motives in behavioural models for sustainability transitions

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  • Schäpke, Niko
  • Rauschmayer, Felix
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    Abstract

    The main motivation for sustainable development, as defined in the Brundtland report, is to care for other humans - for the world's poor and for unborn people. Traditional economic models use the motivation to increase one's own well-being as the main motivation for action. Efficiency-improvements, as the main focus of the economics-based models have largely shown to be ineffective, due to rebound effects etc. We assume that efficiency or consistency improvements can only be effective when accompanied by a more fundamental value shift. A shift including altruistic motivations for behaviour, as they are part of sufficiency strategies for sustainable development. Models that reduce motivations for actions to self-centred ones cannot account for such change. The Capability Approach as an alternative to neo-classical approaches, distinguishes between interests in own well-being and other-regarding interests. Yet it has seldom been applied to address the latter. Tested psychological models that encompass both motivations, on the other hand, have no scope for analysing wider societal effects of policies. This paper therefore integrates psychological knowledge in a capability framework, to be used as a basis for empirical analyses. The developed model should allow the design and assessment of efficiency, consistency, and sufficiency strategies for sustainability transitions. --

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    Paper provided by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS) in its series UFZ Discussion Papers with number 17/2012.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ufzdps:172012

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    1. Welsch, Heinz, 2009. "Implications of happiness research for environmental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2735-2742, September.
    2. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
    3. Ingrid Robeyns, 2005. "The Capability Approach: a theoretical survey," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 93-117.
    4. Kerr, John & Vardhan, Mamta & Jindal, Rohit, 2012. "Prosocial behavior and incentives: Evidence from field experiments in rural Mexico and Tanzania," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 220-227.
    5. ED Diener & Carol Diener, 1995. "The wealth of nations revisited: Income and quality of life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 275-286, November.
    6. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "The Old Lady Visits Your Backyard: A Tale of Morals and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1297-1313, December.
    7. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
    8. Ingebrigtsen, Stig & Jakobsen, Ove, 2009. "Moral development of the economic actor," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2777-2784, September.
    9. Kallis, Giorgos, 2011. "In defence of degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 873-880, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Griewald, Yuliana & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2014. "Exploring an environmental conflict from a capability perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 30-39.

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