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Dematerialisation of consumption: a win-win strategy?

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  • Kronenberg, Tobias

Abstract

A dematerialisation of the economy can provide a crucial contribution toward sustainable devel-opment. It can take place in the production sphere through technological change or in the con-sumption sphere through altered consumer behaviour. This paper focuses on the second case, a shift of expenditure from material consumption (e.g. manufactured products) to non-material consumption (e.g. services). Since all production requires material, an input-output model is used to account for indirect material use. The model features post-Keynesian macroeconomic founda-tions, which make it possible to study the effects of altered consumption patterns on total con-sumption, output, and income distribution. The empirical application for the case of Germany shows that a dematerialisation of consumption might be considered a win-win strategy from an ecological and economic viewpoint. However, its effects on the distribution of income and inter-national trade may be problematic.

Suggested Citation

  • Kronenberg, Tobias, 2010. "Dematerialisation of consumption: a win-win strategy?," MPRA Paper 25704, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Rezai, Armon & Taylor, Lance & Mechler, Reinhard, 2013. "Ecological macroeconomics: An application to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 69-76.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainable consumption; input-output model; social sustainability; income distribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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