Reimers, H. et al.Indirect rebound effects on the consumer level: A state-of-the-art literature review

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Hanna Reimers, Anke Jacksohn, Dennis Appenfeller, Wassili Lasarov, Alexandra Hüttel, Katrin Rehdanz, Ingo Balderjahn & Stefan Hoffmann

Release date:
December 2021

Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, Volume 3

Indirect rebound effects on the consumer level occur when potential greenhouse gas emission savings from the usage of more efficient technologies or more sufficient consumption in one consumption area are partially or fully offset through the consumers’ adverse behavioral responses in other areas. As both economic (e.g., price effects) and psychological (e.g., moral licensing) mechanisms can stimulate these indirect rebound effects, they have been studied in different fields, including economics, industrial ecology, psychology, and consumer research. Consequently, the literature is highly fragmented and disordered. To integrate the body of knowledge for an interdisciplinary audience, the authors review and summarize the previous literature, covering the microeconomic quantification of indirect rebounds based on observed expenditure behavior and the psychological processes underlying indirect rebounds. The literature review reveals that economic quantifications and psychological processes of indirect rebound effects have not yet been jointly analyzed. The authors derive directions for future studies, calling for a holistic research agenda that integrates economic and psychological mechanisms.

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