‘More is Better’ as a Challenge to Sustainable Development: Theoretical and Empirical Approach
AbstractIn 1987 the Brundtland commission introduced the idea of sustainable development, which is defined as environmentally friendly, more socially acceptable (equality) economic growth and development. There are three major components of sustainable development: environmental, economic and social. The research shows that fundamental societal reorientation in all three areas can lead to the successful sustainable development. The aim of the article is to examine the role of consumption for the implementation of sustainable development within a growth and development model. Sustainable development depends on the existence of a specific (not standard, consumption maximizing) consumer. The article develops the model of a new, environmentally oriented consumer, and takes account of the environmental component, as a contingency part of the consumer values. Then the new type is entered into a growth mode and the consequences for the implementation of sustainable development are examined. It is shown that consumers are social agents capable of changing their utility (well-being) maximization patterns and their attitude towards relative importance of different factors. Thereby consumers impact their consumption habits, but also give an important signal to the market and producers. Empirically, the model is illustrated by the attitudes of Slovenian consumers.
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