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A Micro-Econometric Analysis of Determinants of Unsustainable Consumption in The Netherlands


  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell


  • Jeroen van den Bergh



Recently, much attention has been given to the notion of `sustainable consumption'. Whereas environmental economics traditionally has focused environmental policy analysis on producers, this new notion broadens the perspective to include environmental policies aimed at directly influencing consumer decisions regarding buying, using, and recycling products. This could suggest policies that link not only to price incentives, but also and especially to persuasive instruments, such as education and information provision. These policies might take into account certain characteristics of households, such as lifestyle and family size. This article presents a first econometric analysis of consumption in the context of environmental sustainability. Relationships between different types of household expenditures and a range of household characteristics are assessed, based on a large micro data set of households for the Netherlands. Use is made of various demand models and econometric techniques to adequately address theoretical and technical issues involved. The article ends with a discussion of the implications of the results for environmental policy directed at stimulating sustainable consumption. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2004. "A Micro-Econometric Analysis of Determinants of Unsustainable Consumption in The Netherlands," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(4), pages 367-389, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:27:y:2004:i:4:p:367-389
    DOI: 10.1023/B:EARE.0000018514.98541.8b

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ala-Mantila, Sanna & Heinonen, Jukka & Junnila, Seppo, 2014. "Relationship between urbanization, direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and expenditures: A multivariate analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 129-139.
    2. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Environmental regulation of households: An empirical review of economic and psychological factors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 559-574, July.
    3. Volland, Benjamin, 2017. "The role of risk and trust attitudes in explaining residential energy demand: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 14-30.
    4. Alva González, Miguel Ángel, 2008. "Environmentally Unfriendly Consumption Behaviour: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence from Private Motorists in Mexico City," MPRA Paper 18019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ivan Tilov & Benjamin Volland & Mehdi Farsi, 2017. "Interactions in Swiss Households' Energy Demand: A Holistic Approach," IRENE Working Papers 17-11, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Iosifidi, Maria, 2016. "Environmental awareness, consumption, and labor supply: Empirical evidence from household survey data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1-11.
    7. -, 2014. "The economics of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean: Paradoxes and challenges. Overview for 2014," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 37056, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).


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