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Open Access Der Rebound-Effekt: ein blinder Fleck der sozial-ökologischen Gesellschaftstransformation

Rebound Effects: Blind Spots in the Socio-Ecological Transition of Industrial Societies

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Rebound effects have been discussed in micro- and macro economics since the 1980s, but until today have garnered too little attention in disciplines outside economics or in applied sustainability politics. This article provides an overview of the existing research, raises critiques, and points out open questions. It makes the case for analysis of psychological rebound effects in order to broaden the narrow micro-economic perspective on consumer behavior. It explains “ideological divergences” in present rebound research on energy efficiency-induced economic growth impacts and suggests that existing econometric evidence on macroeconomic rebounds might rather underestimate the scope of these effects. Furthermore, this article comprehensively addresses producer-side and market-level rebound effects, which so far have only achieved marginal attention even in the economic rebound literature. The various rebound effects identified may result in reducing the energy savings potential of technical efficiency improvements by 50 percent or more. Therefore, research on a socio-ecological transition of industrial societies is well-advised to take due note of rebound effects and foster policies and measures that can contain them.

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Keywords: ECONOMIC GROWTH; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; REBOUND EFFECT

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2014

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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