A micro-econometric analysis of determinants of unsustainable consumption in The Netherlands

A. Ferrer-i- Carbonell, J.C.J.M. van den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-389
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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