Article

Consumer credit, household financial management, and sustainable consumption

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Over the past decade, sustainable consumption has emerged as an issue of growing international prominence. Policy initiatives to facilitate more environmentally and socially preferable household provisioning have typically emphasized materials and energy efficiency. While this approach holds the prospect for some notable short-term gains, experience suggests that longer-term improvements are likely to fall short of expectations and trigger unanticipated rebound effects. Effective policy programs need to acknowledge the social and financial dimensions of consumer decision making and become more attentive to the role of households as catalysts of production. From this perspective, consumer payment systems take on special significance. In particular, the prevalence of credit cards and the accumulation of consumer debt in the USA and other advanced countries have been important drivers of economic growth in recent years. This paper highlights the linkages between consumer credit and sustainable consumption and discusses the structural changes in lending practices that account for the popularity of this payment system. While unsatisfactory conceptual models and inadequate data make it difficult to advance any definitive assessment of this relationship, it is possible to outline the basic elements of a research agenda in this area.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Cohen [5] notes that an obsession with consumer sovereignty has prevented unsustainable levels of material consumption to become a policy issue 1 . Consuming more efficiently, not consuming less, is a common policy goal endorsed by the political system. ...
... Cohen [5, p. 63] argues that "…household financial management deserves equal treatment in discussions of sustainable consumption alongside more conventional social scientific issues such as the impact of marketing promotionalism, the content of major media, the trend toward long working hours, the emphasis on comfort and convenience, and the manifestation of greater lifestyle embellishment." Similar to Cohen [5], we recognize the absence of empirical data and theoretical reasoning addressing how unsustainable consumption levels depend on consumer credit. This paper takes a step in the direction of closing this gap. ...
... Owing to economic means in conjunction with psychological factors spurring consumption, affluence increases spending on expensive luxury material goods (real estates, airplanes, automobiles, boats, fashion clothes, meat), travel (long-haul vacations and weekend holiday trips), and other goods and services that aggregated have detrimental effects stressing the planetary boundaries. 5 Insert Figure 1 about here ...
Article
Full-text available
Several pressures on planetary boundaries are directly linked to the production of goods and services driven by people’s ever-increasing spending of money to improve their material living standard beyond a comfortable life. The over-spending on material consumption by people in industrialized countries, and in the growing middle and upper classes of developing countries, constitutes a serious threat to the planet, does not boost individual happiness, and exposes citizens in a society to inequalities known to negatively affect their well-being. Owing to economic means and psychological factors spurring consumption, affluence increases spending on consumption of expensive luxury goods and services that aggregated have detrimental effects on the planet. We conjecture that these effects are increased by consumer credit enabling moderately affluent people to match their peers’ and the very affluent people’s spending on expensive luxury consumption, and making less affluent people over-spend money on purchases of inexpensive short-lived fast-fashion consumer products. In addition to other means to curtail current unsustainable consumption levels, our analysis highlights that consumer credit may need to be restricted.
... Changing consumer sensibilities, market conditions (such as globalization and greater reliance on technology), and emerging marketing contexts require greater intervention by consumers in managing their everyday life (Fırat and Dholakia 2006). Adopting CCs as the most popular method of payment has been linked to consumers' assertion of "freedom" in practicing their lifestyle choices (Bernthal et al. 2005;Cohen 2007). The choice of DCs as the most frequently used payment form may relate to consumers' desire to exercise self-control in spending . ...
... Lastly, consumers perceive CCs as lifestyle facilitators (Bernthal et al. 2005) and represent U.S. consumerism (Cohen 2007;Peñaloza and Barnhart 2011). Consumers' cultural perceptions of debt, CC usage, and the need for status may be a result of a feeling of abundance in the U.S. (Peñaloza and Barnhart 2011). ...
... CCs (Chen et al. 2017) may remind consumers of their superordinate goals which may result in a preference for quality. Cohen (2007) suggested that consumers may use CCs eager to pursue lifestyles beyond their immediate financial means as they covet social status. As a result, paying later, consumers may evaluate quality purchases as more beneficial than purchasing quantity for an equivalent amount. ...
Article
Payment-timing is conceptualized as a payment instrument focal characteristic to explain differences in consumers’ purchasing behavior when they chose to pay-now versus pay-later. Payment-timing preferences represent consumers’ attitudes, beliefs, and motivation for delaying marketing transactions. Cash, debit cards, and online banking represented consumers’ preferences to pay-now, while credit cards and loans represented the inclination to pay-later. There were two key findings: Firstly, I present payment-timing models that theorize consumers’ choice of payment types with differences in payment-timing and motivations to pay for purchases. Two models are presented that unify the following attitudes and motivations: (1) five attitudinal antecedents to consumers’ preferences for payment-timing: regulatory focus, heuristics, self-construal, perceived financial constraint, and extent of financial literacy; (2) five motivations that explain consumers’ likelihood of purchase using payment types with differences in payment-timing: the pain of payment, pain of mismatched payments, rewards salience, debt aversion, and decision construal; and (3) visualizing moral responsibility as a moderator to the pain of payment and economic motivation as a moderator to rewards availability. Secondly, consumers had a greater likelihood of purchasing when paying later (with credit cards) versus paying now (with debit cards) in the context of high-dollar purchases ($1200 and above). Moreover, when paying later consumers preferred quality purchases versus buying multiple items for an equivalent amount. Advisor: James W. Gentry
... The importance of the credit cards industry for the economy may be reflected by the number of households with at least one credit card, which in the US reached more than 80% (Cohen, 2007). Mexico has been characterized by a low level of financial inclusion and, even though the credit cards were introduced since 1968, but by June 2015 the number or active cards had reached 16.3 million (BANXICO, 2015, June), less than two cards per 10 inhabitants, one tenth of the comparable figure in the US. ...
... The Mexican census institution INEGI publishes every two years the results of a national survey about consumer income and expenses (see ENIGH, 2014), that include statistics about credit card use, which can be of help in the study of from other available statics on the issue, the data have limitations to conform to Previous streams of research have explored the factors that can explain credit card use, ranging from credit card holder characteristics to economic, psychological and social factors. It has been argued that data has been inadequate, and the proposed models have not been satisfactory to advance definitive assessments of the relationships (Cohen, 2007), which go in tune with the rejection of behavioral variables to explain consumer spending (e.g. Durkin, Elliehausen & Zywicki, 2015). ...
... Some studies have provided an outlook of the effects of current misuse of credit card debt, of the inadequate role of regulation, and of the need of sustainable business practices (e.g. Lea, Webley & Walker, 1995;Bernthal, Crocket & Rose, 2005;Cohen, 2007). However, there is still controversy about the nature of the problem, whether purchasing on credit is follows the neoclassical model of consumer credit choice (Durkin, Elliehausen & Zywicki, 2015), which view consumers as rational actors, and the opposing view, that credit cards are means to exploit consumer behavioral biases (Bar-Gill, 2003). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A large body research specially in the US and the UK have disclosed the exploitation of consumer behavioral biases by credit card issuers, which explain a large increase in bankruptcy fillings, by charging average interest rates of 13.68 percent. In the case of Mexico there is little research about said issue, even though there are over 23 million credit cards in circulation, and the rates of interest charged are over twice as high. In absence of satisfactory conceptual models and adequate data, a system dynamics model is proposed in this paper, which for the first time include hard and soft variables, based on theory and empirical studies, on related census statistics, and on a local survey. As in the US, in Mexico prevails the policy of viewing consumers as fully rational in decision making, while a growing literature questions those theories. The model simulation results reflect the problem of a growing number of families becoming financially insolvent, while the issuing banks maintain income levels from declining by issuing new credit cards, a practice that is not sustainable for the society and for the economy. Suggestions for improvement of the model and a research agenda are proposed, suggesting also the participation of undergraduate students
... With the things mentioned, according to Cohen (2007), purchased goods and services from consumer debt is now the driving economic force in most advanced countries and no longer personal savings, primarily through the use of credit cards. This was confirmed by Braswell and Chernow (2020) in the United States of America Federal Trade Commission, stating that consumer credit, primarily in the United States, is an essential aspect of the economy. ...
... This happened mainly in the United States and most advanced countries using credit cards. It was said that consumer loans were already the driving force of the economy rather than personal savings (Cohen, 2007). It allowed the economy to function more effectively since citizens have means for consumption. ...
Article
Full-text available
Unemployment is one of the problems of Filipinos, which affects their consumption of goods and services since they have no income, worsened by the increasing prices in the market. Here, they tend to acquire consumer loans to support their means in obtaining their needs and wants, but due to the acquisition of previous loans and obligations to pay, they tend to adjust their consumption. Embedded from the Life-Cycle Hypothesis, Permanent Income Hypothesis and Keynesian Consumption Theory, the main objective of the research was to identify the relationship of unemployment, consumer loans per capita, real gross domestic product per capita, and inflation rate with the real household final consumption expenditure per capita in the Philippines using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) in multiple regression analysis, and diagnostic tests in Eviews software using empirical time-series quarterly data from 2009 to 2019. This research found that unemployment and consumer loans per capita have an indirect relationship with the consumption of Filipinos. On the other hand, the gross domestic product per capita has a direct relationship. This claimed that all variables are significantly related to consumption except the inflation rate, although it showed an indirect trend. The findings exposed that Filipinos adjust their consumption to cope with no income due to unemployment, acquisition of consumer loans, and inflation rate to attain their needs and wants while having income increases their consumption. This research recommended that the Philippine government support the unemployed Filipinos by providing insurance or benefits, lessening the lending interest rate of loans, and overseeing the market prices to aid their consumption.
... Ludvigson (1999) demonstrates that CL solves the mismatch between consumer demands and limiting purchasing power, broadening credit channels and reducing borrowing costs. It is more convenient for consumers to use loans for financing and improve confidence (Cohen, 2007). In addition, Ponce et al. (2017) stress that consumers are willing to endure high loan interest rates to maintain their liquidity, so CL is critical to consumers and has optimistic effects on their sentiment. ...
... If the CCI is greater than 100, it refers to consumers who are confident in the current economic prospects, and vice versa (Ghosh, 2021). Cohen (2007) defines CL as provided by commercial banks to consumers to purchase goods and services, to maximise their consumption goals. In addition, Sandoval and Walsh (2021) hold that CL is the main financing channel for consumers, reflecting residents' consumption desire. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of the global economic downturn, the approach guided by consumer loans (CL) to boost consumer confidence is a feasible way to promote the internal circulation of the Chinese economy. Therefore, we use a time-varying rolling-window approach to identify how CL affects the consumer confidence index (CCI). We find that CL can be seen as vital support for promoting confidence because it can ease liquidity constraints and improve consumption levels. The empirical outcome is supported by the Rational Expectations Perpetual Income Hypothesis (RE-PIH), emphasizing that increasing CL can boost consumer confidence. Conversely, CCI has both positive and negative effects on CL. The positive effects suggest that consumers’ optimistic confidence leads them to increase borrowing, which in turn creates a heavier debt burden. This statement cannot be supported by the negative effect due to consumers’ blind self-confidence will cause cognitive bias, which is not conducive to the loan market development. Against the backdrop of increased global uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s continuous adjustment of loan policies, consumers can effectively optimise their consumption decision-making through borrowing. The policymaker can maintain loan stability by effectively promoting consumer confidence and raising the consumption level of the whole society.
... After realizing the limited resources and the environmental challenges that we face at the beginning of the 21st century, marketing experts are today interested in global issues such as sustainable development and sustainable consumption [1][2][3]. Sustainable consumption can become a reality if consumers are highly committed to, and conscious of, their own, self-chosen values, and if their consumption motivations follow these values in real shopping situations. This "new type" of consumer behavior can be regarded as "sustainable consumption", and its most committed consumers are referred to as LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) by the literature [4][5][6]. ...
... In the USA, the size of this group is estimated by Schulz at 40 million [6], which is 13-19% of the whole US population. According to the estimates of Cohen [1] and Ramirez [22], 30% of the adult population (90 million people) belongs to this segment in the USA. According to Schulz [6], in Europe the number of LOHAS consumers is over 130 million, which is 18% of the population. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the research was to define the size of the Hungarian LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) consumer group by analyzing its lifestyle based on sustainable values. To achieve this goal, a representative questionnaire-based survey was carried out involving 1000 individuals in Hungary. During the value-orientated research, 25 lifestyle statements were drawn up. According to the results, five value-based segments could be distinguished. The largest cluster, the young trend followers group, reflects the characteristics of the LOHAS consumers' lifestyle to the greatest extent. However, this segment cannot entirely be regarded as a consumer group devoted to LOHAS values, which is why a further segmentation of this group was necessary. As a result of this further segmentation, the third sub-cluster, which emphasizes the ethical (competence) statements the most, can be identified with the LOHAS consumer group, which makes up 8.7% of the Hungarian population. Further research is necessary to find out whether the situation regarding value orientation in Hungary is similar to that in other Eastern European countries whose social and cultural backgrounds are very similar. Revealing the values of the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability segment contributes to the extension of the literature.
... For instance, Juliet Schor (1991) included credit in her analysis of the work-and-spend cycle and Maurie Cohen (2005) suggested that swelling concern at the time about consumer debt and personal bankruptcy could be strategically exploited by proponents of sustainable consumption. He later followed this up by exploring the dynamics behind the increasing use of credit cards and the dramatic growth in consumer debt and argued that sustainable consumption research should focus on the implications of indebtedness with respect to both the quantity and the type of consumption (Cohen, 2007). Of particular salience, the emergence of new varieties of loans called for increased attention to credit as an environmentally relevant driver of consumption. ...
... Economic crises impose the largest impacts on politically and economically weaker members of society and turn attention away from addressing ecological problems. In addition, growing structural inequality amplifies and deepens unsustainable consumption aspirations because it creates more rigid social hierarchies (Cohen 2007(Cohen , 2010. ...
... Macro economic factors play a crucial role in predicting credit card behavior patterns. Prevalence of credit cards and the accumulation of consumer debt have been reported as important drivers of economic growth (Cohen, 2007). Sustainable consumption is made possible to a large extent through the possibility of the credit card payment system. ...
... The outcomes of such initiatives were usually targeted towards producers and, for instance, aimed to promote efficiency and cleaner production (Cohen, 2005). During one of these summits in the mid-1990s, an attempt was made to create a working definition of 'sustainable consumption' (Fuchs and Lorek, 2005;Cohen, 2007). This definition, which later came to be known as the 'Oslo definition,' considers sustainable consumption to be: ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Various researchers have pointed out that avoiding further catastrophic consequences related to the deteriorating ecological state of the planet, brought about by unsustainable production and consumption patterns, requires not only technological innovation and efficiency in production processes, but also absolute reductions in energy and material use (i.e., sufficiency). The rapid expansion of research on ideas such as sufficiency and post-growth indicate an increasing realization that fundamental societal change is needed if we are to avoid devastating environmental effects and social inequities. Using a theoretical perspective consisting of the literature on sustainable consumption, sufficiency politics and policies, and scaling sustainability initiatives, this thesis aims to contribute to our knowledge about social-ecological transformations from the perspective of sufficiency, specifically addressing (un)sustainable consumption. Sweden serves as the case with, on the one hand, its strong civil society, policy and business promotion of sustainable development and, on the other, high per-capita levels of unsustainable consumption of resources. This thesis comprises four separate articles and a cover essay. Article one explores how environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) are framing different sufficiency activities—ranging from those that can be applied within the current market arrangements to others that deal with social relations and non-commercial values beyond market exchange—as a way to attract a wider audience. Article two analyses the individual motives for working less and the socio-ecological outcomes of Gothenburg City’s ‘right to part-time’ policy. The third article contrasts the visions and discourses of ‘community repair’ with the mainstream circular economy discourse by analyzing the ENGO campaign ‘Fix the Stuff’ and the open Do-It-Yourself repair spaces ‘Fixotek’ in the City of Gothenburg. Article four explores how different business forms impact upon the social and ecological sustainability dynamics of the changing Swedish second-hand clothing market. Sufficiency is an approach that remains peripheral in the public debates on how to enable social and ecological sustainability. Nevertheless, the research in this thesis provides concrete examples of how sufficiency practices can be scaled, not only through bottom-up and grassroots movements, but also via more conventional actors, such as municipalities, established ENGOs and firms (Papers I–IV). It therefore contributes to knowledge about how sufficiency can extend beyond an individual strategy towards low-impact lifestyles, and thus can involve various societal actors and amplification processes, ranging across scaling out, scaling deep and scaling up. In addition, I illustrate how the scaling of sufficiency practices is also coupled with various challenges and tensions, which risk undermining some of the key aspects of the sufficiency approach. Furthermore, through the lens of the sufficiency approach, this thesis also advances the debate on sustainability transitions and circular economies (Papers III and IV). In particular, it draws attention to how the mainstream circular economy discourse has overlooked questions relating to the roles and powers of citizen-consumers and corporations, as well as the control of materials, skills and resources. Moreover, there are social-ecological issues related to which market actors have access to used clothing, how these materials flow and how profits are eventually distributed that have yet to receive much attention in the current circular economy debate. Together, these issues have important implications for who benefits from the transition to a circular economy and in what ways.
... For better fund raising, it is therefore necessary for enterprises to carry out financing management. Third is working capital management, which mainly manages the working capital and current liabilities of the enterprise [11]. And lastly, through the implementation of income and expenditure management, income and expenditure management can reasonably control and adjust all the economic business transactions and transactions of the whole enterprise. ...
Article
Full-text available
The sudden arrival of the new crown epidemic has had a significant and long-lasting impact on the division’s economic environment as well as the production and operation activities of businesses. As far as the financial management is concerned, opportunities and difficulties are faced by enterprises of all types. With reference to the available research data, enterprises have an important contribution to GDP and jobs, but they still face a series of difficulties and challenges in their development in the context of the normalization of the epidemic. By analyzing the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic on the financial management work of enterprises, this paper proposes an artificial neural network-based enterprise financial forecasting and early warning method to provide an effective method for enterprise financial management. For the time-series characteristics of enterprise finances, a prediction model based on long- and short-term memory networks is developed which acknowledges the necessity of combining the temporal dimension with the spatial dimension for forecasting. This model incorporates time qualities into the data to the existing forecasting model. It also considers both working and nonworking day data and thoroughly considers the factors influencing corporate finance. Then, using BP neural network for financial risk prediction, nonfinancial index factors should be added to the financial early warning model thus eliminating the limitations of the financial early warning model. At the same time, the accuracy of the prediction can be improved which is more suitable for enterprises to apply in practice. The experimental results demonstrate that the financial prediction model built by multilayer feed forward neural networks and recurrent neural networks based on error back propagation training is inferior to the prediction model built by long- and short-term memory network. Regardless of the degree of fitting or prediction accuracy, the BP neural network model outperforms the conventional model for enterprise financial warning. Under the normalization of the pandemic, the combined use of both can offer an efficient technique for enterprise management.
... The potential of financial education in sustainable behaviors is capable of generating innovative solutions in consumption and credit behavior (Cohen, 2007), in services, especially financial ones (Anderson et al., 2013), to support sustainable actions in micro and small businesses (Rahmandoust et al., 2011;Ye & Kulathunga, 2019), in promoting sustainable economic growth (Bryant, 2013) Thus, there is a need to investigate the relationship between financial education and sustainability in behavior and its main effects on indebtedness, savings, investments, consumption, production, and waste disposal and, mainly, on future expectations; it is in this perspective that this study focuses. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This study aimed to deepen the discussions and analysis of relationships around financial education and sustainability. The first article presents the clustered bibliometric map of scientific discussions between the fields studied, supported by a co-occurrence analysis of words, bringing the primary metrics of productivity and impact of productions, as well as the concentrations of financial education discussions with the sustainable triple. In the second article, we present a conceptual framework and the design of the relationship between financial education and sustainability in behavior, considering that the levels of financial education and sustainability have a direct impact on budget planning and control, on the characteristics of seeking credit and investment, as well as on the levels of savings and indebtedness, in consumer behavior and the production and disposal of waste, determining expectations and perspectives for the future and legacy. The third article proposed the main items involved in the seven dimensions previously presented in paper 2. A total of 139 items were presented, validated by specialists regarding the adequacy of the item in the dimension and the clarity of the statement, through ordering scales. The choice of items was based on average criteria scores, leaving 137 items at the end. The work, as a whole, was a step towards deepening the understanding of the relationship between financial education and sustainability, especially in the environmental pillar, which little investigated. The process of conceptual gathering and formulation of relational hypotheses and instrumentation becomes valuable in minimizing risks and problems in the practical application of future research. As a suggestion for future research is indicated the application of the instrument and the use of the proposed dimensions in studies that investigate other relationships, in addition to the proposals.
... In case of having information about financial matters, safe and correct decisions can be taken, thus contributing to the increase of the welfare level of the family and to the economic development of the society at the same time. 6 In terms of the stability of the economic and financial system, it is extremely important for individuals to make effective and efficient decisions on financial matters. Because the increase in financial literacy provides the emergence of macroeconomic benefits for the economy and financial system. ...
Article
Finansal karar alma, kişilerin veya şirketlerin yatırımlarını değerlendirmek amacıyla en uygun şekilde finansal faaliyette bulunma eylemi olarak tanımlanmaktadır. Bireyler gündelik yaşamlarını sürdürmek için belirli seviyede finans eğitimine ihtiyaç duymaya başlamışlardır. Bu ihtiyaçlar ile beraber finansal farkındalık, finansal okuryazarlık ve finansal sağlık gibi kavramlar ortaya çıkmıştır. Finansal sağlık kavramı ise güncel bir kavramdır. Covid-19 sürecinde finansal sağlık kavramının önemi daha belirgin hale gelmiştir. Bu süreçte gelirleri azalan bireylerin finansal sağlık düzeyleri düşmeye başlamıştır. Bu noktadan hareketle çalışmanın amacı; bireylerin finansal sağlık skorlarını tespit ederek finansal durumları hakkında bilgilere ulaşmaktır. Çalışmada, Gümüşhane Üniversitesi Muhasebe-Finansman Anabilim Dalı öğretim elamanları tarafından geliştirilen Finansal Sağlık Endeksi Modeli (FSEM) kullanılmıştır. Çalışma kapsamına, Gümüşhane Üniversitesi çalışanları dâhil edilmiştir. Modelde kullanılan veriler OECD/İNFE Finansal Okuryazarlık Ölçeği ile toplanmıştır. Çalışmada toplam 283 çalışanın verileri analiz edilmiş ve modele uygun hale getirilmiştir. Yapılan Çalışma sonucunda Gümüşhane Üniversitesinde çalışan bireylerin finansal sağlık skorları ortalaması 64,1432 olarak tespit edilmiştir. Bu skor ortalama skorun üstünde yüksek puan aralığındadır. Çalışmada kullanılan model özellikle bankaların, bireysel müşterilere sunacakları hizmetleri belirlemede önemli bir endeks değeri olarak kullanılabilir. Ayrıca çalışmanın modeli bireylerin alacakları finansal eğitimlerin düzeyini tespit etmede kullanılabilir. FSEM’in literatüre önemli bir katkı yapması beklenmektedir.
... Would the continuous dominance of the capitalist view of accountancy underlying accounting procedures be represented if these technologies of practice merged, or would a new synthesizing be required that reflected a larger collection of stakeholders and challenges in organizations? (Cohen, 2005) ...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability is a new and quickly expanding interdisciplinary topic of study that is concerned with the economic consequences of environmental challenges for many industries and businesses, as well as the need for a transition to another more environmentally friendly economy Nonetheless, there is no denying that sustainable development strategies have influenced a wide range of industries. As a result, it is envisaged that there will be a link between organizational sustainability and financial success. The preliminary data show that the implementation of specified sustainability measures is beneficial. strategies is connected with Return On Equity, and Return On Capital Employed in a significant and beneficial way. However, subsequent testing has revealed a significant Positive association for measures such as the DJSI and RATE are more convoluted than first thought, with negative relationships for CSRD. (Ferreira, 2019) The most frequent viewpoint on this subject is that the Swedish government may set a goal to track sustainable rules & encourage greater quantitative monitoring by national governments. enterprises in order to promote business sustainability. Stronger measures will almost certainly be implemented, and legislation requiring mandatory consequence analysis should be researched and proposed so that businesses in other sectors can follow suit. (Ahmadu Abubakar)
... Effective management of the economic means involves good financial strategy and financial expertise. Capital, expenditures, and financial management planning lead to long-term business practices and growth (Cohen, 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Financial management is critical to a company's success. The practice of managing money or assets is referred to as financial management. Financial planning is one of the company's long-term growth objectives and tactics. Financial management includes everything to do with money, including finances and accounting. Because financial planning is so important, nearly every firm has distinct areas of financial management with their dedicated, experienced, and dependable personnel. The goal of this study is to look over the literature and examine how sustainability practices are connected to the organization's financial management. The importance of corporate social responsibility in promoting sustainable business practices appears to be becoming more widely understood. The extremely widespread green viewpoint to business operations defines sustainability. Sustainability has become a catch-all phrase for green business practices that have been incorporated into a variety of company strategies. According to numerous studies, consumers are concerned about sustainability and want to engage with firms that include social responsibility in their marketing strategy. As people become more informed, they are looking for companies that share their viewpoints.The investment sector swiftly adopted sustainability during the preceding five years, with the introduction of funds and indexes concentrating on long-term issues. Sustainable investments are cooperative securities and exchange-traded funds that indicate in their registration forms or other documentation that they select assets based on sustainability, impact, or environmental, economic, and regulatory factors.
... Furthermore, financial instability analysis has shown that there is a strong connection between an organization's investment choices, equity returns, and bond returns, which is the most significant element in deciding whether or not it would file for bankruptcy. As a result, it is advised that businesses go through a sequence of feasible sustainable development phases before entering the appropriate sustainable growth process (Cohen, 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of companies who consider societal norms to be part of their corporate plan is the. Companies are relying more and more on sustainability concerns, which are vital to the growing connectivity and potential value amongst businesses. The aim of this research is to find out how financial management will help promote sound business practices and development. It confirms that an effective financial management model is needed to maximize efficiency while mitigating financial risks, based on a thematic review of capital from various scholars. The findings also suggest that allocating capital budgets to sustainable development challenges will improve a company's competitive edge, and that using Western and Islamic finance to finance sustainable development is an important measure. Financial management, according to the report, is critical in fostering sound market practices and growth.
... Research revealed that frugal consumers tend to have higher account balances and voluntary simplifiers are less likely to have personal debts than consumers with more materialistic concerns (Nepomuceno and Laroche 2015). Repetitive excessive purchasing threatens consumers' individual well-being (Brown and Gray 2016;Sweet et al. 2013) and is associated with negative environmental and social consequences (Cohen 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
As overconsumption has negative effects on ecological balance, social equality, and individual well-being, reducing consumption levels among the materially affluent is an emerging strategy for sustainable development. Today's youth form a crucial target group for intervening in unsustainable overconsumption habits and for setting the path and ideas on responsible living. This article explores young people's motivations for engaging in three behavioural patterns linked to anti-consumption (voluntary simplicity, collaborative consumption, and living within one's means) in relation to sustainability. Applying a qualitative approach, laddering interviews reveal the consequences and values behind the anti-consumption behaviours of young people of ages 14 to 24 according to a means-end chains analysis. The findings highlight potential for and the challenges involved in motivating young people to reduce material levels of consumption for the sake of sustainability. Related consumer policy tools from the fields of education and communication are identified. This article provides practical implications for policy makers, activists, and educators. Consumer policies may strengthen anti-consumption among young people by addressing individual benefits, enabling reflection on personal values, and referencing credible narratives. The presented insights can help give a voice to young consumers, who struggle to establish themselves as key players in shaping the future consumption regime.
... 6. See Spaargaren et al. (2007) for useful empirical examples of the greening of consumption practices in the domains of food, housing, mobility, clothing and personal care, and leisure. Cohen (2006b) seeks to conceptualise sustainable consumption in terms of household finance and consumer economics. 7. See the various reports and other documents available at the website that supports the Marrakech Process at http://esa.un.org/marrakechprocess 8. ...
... This is evident from the fact that the rise of consumerism has led to an economic, social and cultural aspiration which augmented an individual's propensity to consume 'quality' products. The ubiquity of consumer debt and high use of credit cards for upgraded products (Cohen, 2007) is the result of such aspirations and therefore clearly negates the propositions warranting the practice of SCB. Moreover, such aspirations create a tendency towards overconsumption as traditionally, possessions are considered a source of happiness (Brown and Cameron, 2000;Watkins et al., 2016). ...
... This is evident from the fact that the rise of consumerism has led to an economic, social and cultural aspiration which augmented an individual's propensity to consume 'quality' products. The ubiquity of consumer debt and high use of credit cards for upgraded products (Cohen, 2007) is the result of such aspirations and therefore clearly negates the propositions warranting the practice of SCB. Moreover, such aspirations create a tendency towards overconsumption as traditionally, possessions are considered a source of happiness (Brown and Cameron, 2000;Watkins et al., 2016). ...
... According to Schulz (2008), LOHAS consumers in Europe represent 18% of the population, which is around 130 million people. Cohen (2007) and Ramirez (2013) estimate that in the United States this segment represents 23% of the population, or about 50 million adults. In Japan, a survey conducted in 2005 showed that LOHAS is characteristic of 29% of the population, or about 37 million people (LOHAS Groupsite, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
In most social communities today, issues such as sustainability, ecology and the environment are becoming increasingly important. Consumers are no longer considering just the impact that their choices have on themselves, but are increasingly considering the impact their choices have on the environment. For this reason, significant attention is being paid to organically produced products, unpolluted areas and suppliers that adhere to good sustainability practices. This trend of life has led to the creation of a consumer group that incorporates sustainable behavior into all aspects of life (LOHAS). The aim of this paper is to examine the characteristics of this market group through a review of the existing literature, as well as to determine if LOHAS consumers represent a promising segment when it comes to tourism.
... Not only irresponsible debt behaviour can jeopardise the financial security of an individual household or even entire economy, but also it can entail more general, non-financial adverse consequences for societies and, eventually, even whole humankind. This is because 'The driving economic force in most advanced nations is no longer personal savings, but rather purchases sustained by consumer debt' ( [90], p. 59). It is documented that consumers' decisions to borrow may be largely supported by materialistic attitudes and consumerism [91]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Literature shows that parental financial socialisation plays an important role in attaining financial literacy as well as in shaping sustainable financial behaviours and that both translate into increased well-being indicators and financial security on micro- and macroeconomic levels. However, debt literacy and debt behaviour seem to be unique. Very little is known about the childhood financial socialisation process through which adults’ sustainable debt behaviour is shaped and how debt behaviour may affect well-being. This study tests a hierarchical model of childhood financial socialisation consisting of five levels: the anticipatory parental socialisation, and later life financial learning outcomes (particularly, debt literacy levels), financial attitudes, debt behaviour, and well-being. Using data collected from a purposive sample of young adult Poles (N = 600) during the period from 10 to 13 November 2018 and employing structural equation modelling, we have found evidence confirming the hierarchical relationship of literacy–attitude–behaviour. Our data do not support, however, either the hypothesised positive relationship between parental socialisation and objectively measured debt literacy or the assumed relationships between debt behaviour and well-being indicators. We posit that country-specific factors related to generational differences entailed by system-wide transition and the specificity of debt behaviour, respectively, are key for explaining these empirical deviations from the assumed conceptual framework. Finally, we found no significant differences between the models estimated separately for maternally conditioned and paternally conditioned respondents.
... Consumers may prefer payment types as there could be social implications to owning, maintaining, and using payment card types. Consumers may prefer CCs as they have been identified as lifestyle facilitators (Bernthal et al., 2005) and represent U.S. consumerism (Cohen, 2007;Peñaloza and Barnhart, 2011). Consumers' cultural perceptions of debt, CC usage, and the need for status may be a result of a feeling of abundance in the United States (Peñaloza and Barnhart, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Payment timing is conceptualized as a payment characteristic useful in explaining motivations to prefer payment types. Cash, debit cards, and online banking represent consumers' preferences to pay now, while credit cards and loans represent the inclination to pay later. Based on a grounded theory study, a payment‐timing model is developed to theorize consumers' choices of payment types with differences in payment timing. The model presents four motivations for payment‐timing preferences: (1) the extent of rewards salience, (2) the perception of financial stress, (3) adopting heuristics for money management, and (4) the influence of perceived financial ability. Consumers choose payment‐timing options that best suit their financial strategy to manage payments in pursuit of their consumption objectives.
... Os artigos anteriores também apontam o papel das instituições financeiras para promover o bem-estar dos consumidores, enfatizando, na maioria deles, somente o papel benéfico dessas organizações em relação ao consumidor. Por exemplo, Cohen (2007) parece destacar a 'ordem e o progresso' quando as instituições financeiras lançam programas educacionais para atacar os efeitos do consumo de crédito de forma exorbitante. Para reduzir esses problemas, o autor aposta no consumo consciente, o que cortaria os custos sociais do governo. ...
Article
Full-text available
O consumo de crédito é um tema que tem interessado pesquisadores internacionais, embora haja muito espaço para discutir sobre suas relações no contexto nacional e sob o olhar do marketing e da sociedade. Nesse sentido, esse artigo objetiva compreender o consumo de crédito na terceira idade, apontando, entre outros, para os benefícios e/ou os prejuízos dessa relação. Metodologicamente, optou-se por um trabalho qualitativo - entrevistas individuais em profundidade com 12 idosos (73 horas de vídeo e 1.396 páginas de transcrição). Os dados foram interpretados via Análise de Conteúdo, formando três categorias: independência financeira e de vida, idosos e suas relações com os serviços financeiros e divergências nas narrativas dos participantes – o que aponta para grupos de idosos de acordo com a forma como eles consomem o crédito. Como resultados e considerações finais, e diferente de boa parte dos trabalhos anteriores, o que se nota é que o crédito assume uma dimensão simbólica particular nessa fase de vida, ao mesmo tempo em que se questionam as práticas de algumas organizações que levam o idoso a consumir o crédito de maneira desmedida.
... The subculture of the environmentally aware and socially responsible has transformed into a huge milieu encompassing different demographic segments, uniting different target audiences. As Cohen (2007) noted, this LOHAS group comprises 30% of the consumer market in the USA. This is at the same time a challenge and a potential for luxury design. ...
Chapter
Luxury is complex. It’s all about design, and design in itself is so hard to define. Our human existence centres around the consumption of products and services, our definition of status and achievement focus on how luxurious our consumption is. We’ll see that historically, this is fluid and dynamic: it’s never been the same, and now, in our complex post-industrial, globalised and postmodern world, luxury is extremely personal and individual. Between gold and branding, I discuss with Uwe Stoklossa how experiences can be made luxurious. Hint: the secret is the experience.
... Sustainable consumption (and credit) has become a significant concern in recent years, as evidence suggests that large groups of consumers maintain their consumption levels by expanding credit (Cohen 2007). In Poland household indebtedness rose quickly from the beginning of 2000 until the onset of the financial crisis (Fig. 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper empirically investigates patterns in the use of credit and their temporal evolution against socio-economic and behavioural traits of borrowers. Debt holder segments were identified from data contained in three waves (2011, 2013 and 2015) of the biennial panel study of Polish households—Social Diagnosis. Analysis supported claims for a differential role of socio-economic characteristics and behavioural factors in evolution of segments of credit users. The analysis conducted with latent transition modelling confirmed intertemporal stability of borrowing patterns. At the same time, it was revealed that: (1) some groups of borrowers—mortgage holders in particular—were likely to stay in their respective groups, while others—especially those borrowing from outside the banking sector and those indebted for other purposes—were more likely to transition; (2) mortgages and loans for household run business were strongly linked to household socio-economic characteristics; (3) loans for durables, renovation and, most notably, consumption were less driven by age of the household head, whereas the ability to manage income was clearly pertinent for transition to those groups; (4) the group of overindebted consumers, although not particularly large, was characterized by high probability of remaining indebted with very low chances of escaping debt. If you wish to access the full text, please use the link https://rdcu.be/N7gD
... Previous studies of capability, sustainable consumption and behavior, and low-carbon management indicate that the carbon capability can be understood based on the following: antecedents and consequences of carbon emissions, impacts of individual activities on carbon emissions, benefits of the low-carbon lifestyle, possible outcomes of individual actions, types of low-carbon activities that require collective action and changes in infrastructure, low-carbon budget management, information needed to achieve a low-carbon lifestyle, broader social constraints, and opportunities for sustainable consumption [25][26][27]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the rapid growth in residential energy consumption, there is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from the consumer side, which requires improvements in the carbon capability of urban residents. In this study, previous investigations of carbon capability were analyzed and classified into four dimensions: carbon knowledge capability, carbon motivation capability, carbon behavior capability, and carbon management capability. According to grounded theory, a quantitative research model was constructed of the carbon capability of urban residents in Jiangsu, which was used to conduct a questionnaire survey. SPSS 19.0 and LatentGOLD were employed to process the questionnaire data and the carbon capability of the residents was evaluated. The results showed that the residents of Jiangsu Province could be divided into six groups based on their different carbon capabilities, where these six major groups accounted for 28.19%, 21.21%, 18.33%, 15.84%, 9.88%, and 6.55% of the total sample. Gender, age, occupation, and educational level had significant effects on the carbon capabilities of residents, whereas the annual household income and household population had no significant effects. According to the characteristics of each cluster based on the four carbon capability dimensions, the six clusters were designated as “balanced steady cluster”, “self-restraint cluster”, “fully backward cluster”, “comprehensive leading cluster”, “slightly cognitive cluster”, and “restrain others cluster”. Quantitative analysis showed that 61.93% of the residents of Jiangsu reached the qualified rate for the carbon capability but the excellent rate was only 15.84%. Relevant policy implications are suggested based on these conclusions.
... Knowing this will be helpful to rouse households to change consumption patterns by means of consumer finance. However, because of the current lack of empirical data and authoritative conceptual models concerning the relationship between consumer credit and sustainable consumption [21], only a few papers have been devoted to this topic. This paper studies the effects of consumer credit on HCEs. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper surveys the diverse effects of consumer credit on household carbon emissions (HCEs) based on consumption patterns revealed by urban Chinese survey data. Based on the foundation of existing literature, consumption patterns and influential factors are carefully chosen to build empirical models that apply Heteroscedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimation and quantile regression. The study finds that short-term consumer credit and credit card limits (representing daily consumption) have effects on HCEs at all quantiles, but mortgages (representing long-term consumer credit) only have effects at high quantiles. Consumption categories have distinct effects on HCEs at different quantiles. The effects of mortgages on HCEs occur mainly through the consumption of housing and facilities as well as through the consumption of medical care and transportation, while the effects of short-term consumer credit and credit card limits on HCEs occur through almost all consumption categories. These findings contribute to knowledge of the determinants of HCEs and provide a theoretical basis for consumer financial mechanisms to cut HCEs.
... In other words, transmodern/transformative/ conscious travellers are recognized to be re-inventing themselves and their world; they value the slow, small and simple and aim for self-reliance; they are connected and communicative; they care about the places they visit; they seek meaningful experiences that help them develop; they require their host/producers of tourism experience to think globally but to act locally. More broadly, marketers have already captured them as the market of LOHAS -conscious consumers with lifestyle of health and sustainability (Lohas, 2015;Worldwatch Institute, 2004;Cohen, 2007). ...
Chapter
Starting from the premise that the formulation of a destination vision is the most critical aspect of strategic planning, this chapter gives insight into a process of creating a value-driven vision that was conducted for the purpose of the ‘Croatian tourism strategy 2020’. The value-driven approach that calls upon awakening more human values of reciprocity and stewardship is based on the need to depart from the detrimental competitive positioning. In our case study of Croatia, we expose the complexities and challenges of the process in which personal aspirations for a ‘different tourism that transforms and connects’ collide with the deeply entrenched political structures that are rooted in the overarching framework of tourism as primarily and only an economic sector.
... The analogy is supported by consumer research that focused on constructs relating to the suggested pillars for the consumer. The pillar concerning the physical constitution of the consumer is addressed in literature and research when health-conscious consumer behavior is ascribed as a constitutive characteristic to the lifestyle of health and sustainability (LOHAS; Cohen 2007). Moreover, research suggesting that the anti-consumption attitudes of voluntary simplifiers are motivated by reducing socio-psychological stress and striving for a better work-life balance and life satisfaction (Zavestoski 2002) lends support to the pillar of socio-psychological well-being. ...
Article
Full-text available
Consumers are put in the driver seat on the road to a sustainable development. Following a consumer-centric approach, this paper explores the dimensionality and the antecedents of responsible consumption from a psychological perspective. Concerning the dimensionality, the study proposes that responsible consumption should comprise a societal as well as an individual dimension. The data (N = 339) supported this two-dimensional approach, differentiating between societal responsibilities of consumers (doing good) and consumers’ responsibilities for their personal well-being (doing well). Moreover, the results indicate that both consumer awareness and sustainability-focused value orientation have a direct positive influence on responsible consumer behavior. In addition, the hypothesized mediating role of consumer awareness is confirmed, with mediations for societal or personal responsible consumer behavior by the respective consumer awareness dimension. Consequently, it is crucial for organizations to flank their sustainable offers with appropriate communication activities in order to motivate consumers to engage in more responsible consumption.
Article
Offering socially responsible products can increase the consumers’ willingness-to-pay a premium for the item, have a positive or negative spillover effect on the consumers’ perceived product image, increase the item's production and marketing costs, enable sales in new market segments and elicit market response from rivals. Earlier research assumes that when a socially responsible product is offered, consumers’ perception of its conventional (i.e., non-socially responsible) attributes remain unchanged. However, anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that in addition to societal benefits, offering a socially responsible product can have spillover effects on consumers’ perceptions of the product's conventional characteristics and subsequently, its product image. We propose and analyze an economic equilibrium duopoly model where firms compete on price and products differentiated by their socially responsible attributes and conventional product image. Our model provides new insights into product-positioning and how failing to consider the interaction between socially responsible product offerings and spillover effects on product image can lead to suboptimal product-positioning decisions. Specifically, offering a socially responsible product can have a halo spillover effect on product image, but result in a profit loss for the firm. Furthermore, a high incremental cost of providing the socially responsible product and a large hardcore market segment can lead to a quasi-monopoly market structure where the firms earn their highest profits, if one provides the standard and the other the socially responsible product.
Chapter
In last few years, research on sustainable environment has motivated to unfold the problems through different marketing and consumption patterns. This claims to provide an alternative path to conceptualize the dynamic nature of society to speak about the sustainability. Most of the conceptual–practical research focus on routine problems of people neglecting the need of protection of environment for future generation. The core issues had been unaddressed by behavioural researchers like role of consumers in sustainable development. This research article aims to examine the determinants of consumer behaviour linked with sustainable consumption. The focus would remain on sustainable consumption and how dream of protection of sustainable environment can be achieved through sustainable consumption. The research makes an attempt to find out the determinants and effects of demographic variables on sustainable consumption.KeywordsSustainable environmentSustainable consumptionHuman behaviourSustainable development
Article
This paper draws on qualitative and quantitative data from social housing tenants in Ireland, exploring how the subjective experience of financial well-being can be understood, and correlating this experience to behavioural and contextual factors. The findings suggest that despite working within tight budgeting constraints, residents are self-disciplined in living within their means, put aside money for unplanned expenditure, and “do without” when money runs out. Residents are using mobile phones predominantly to shop and check bank balances, with online banking used to access traditional payment instruments (e.g. Direct Debits) for fixed outgoings, to receive incoming revenue and to save. There is little evidence that residents get value from personal finance management tools. Instead, we conclude that financial well-being is a set of behaviours, necessitating self-discipline and control to avoid unsustainable indebtedness. The design of financial services should take the lived experience of citizens into account, in particular promoting resilience through savings instead of credit.
Article
The food system is a major driver of anthropogenic environmental impacts and in Sweden a sizeable proportion of the country’s relatively large per capita ecological footprint is attributable to food. In short, sustainable eating practices need to become mainstream. Actors within the food-provisioning system likely have valuable insights into how such a transition could be enabled. This article presents the results of a qualitative study that aimed to examine the perspectives of these individuals on such a transition in Sweden using a social practice framework to identify framings of barriers and potentials for mainstreaming sustainable eating practices. We found that conventional framings and models for explaining change and transitions dominate. These approaches center on providing alternative food products, with some attention devoted to normalizing sustainable eating through product design, communication, and marketing. However, exceptions to these strategies include calls for redefining business profitability in terms of human and planetary health and notions of a decentralized food-provisioning system consisting of small-scale actors and limited by the regional and seasonal supply of food. Our analysis suggests that interventions for mainstreaming sustainable eating practices need to move beyond a constrained recrafting of mainstream eating practices and toward systematic practice substitution that favors considerations regarding how eating practices connect to other practices that constitute people’s everyday lives. We conclude by discussing implications for the food-provisioning system and suggest directions for further research that could lead to the development of strategies for mainstreaming sustainable eating practices in Sweden and elsewhere. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to review the energy consumption, environmental impact, and implementation of renewable energy in textile industries to enhance circularity and sustainability in the textile industry. Textiles and clothing are the fundamental needs of human beings; this sector consumes an abundant amount of fossil fuels as the main energy supply and has impacts on the environment. However, alternative clean sources of energy can be applied in the textile industry. Moreover, the gradual elimination of fossil fuels and the implementation of renewable energy resources in textile industries is essential. By this paper, fossil energy usage in textile industries and its impact, as well as the application of alternative energy in textiles, can be perceived. In this study, the background of the textile industry, energy consumption, environmental impact, alternative sources, and saving of fossil energy has been narrated tidily. In summary, generally, more than 50% of thermal energy and around 70% of electricity are used in various processes of the textile industry. Along with fossil fuels, it has some adverse effects on the environment. But alternative energy sources and improved energy efficiency can reduce this pollution. Nevertheless, currently, textile industries consume plenty of fossil fuel energy to produce end products; there are huge opportunities to implement renewable energy as well as applying BAT and advanced technology can also increase the existing energy efficiency in the textile industries. Since textile is the eternal demand of human beings, we must give extra effort to this sector and save the immediate vicinity of mankind as well.
Article
Using data from the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) in 2017, this paper examines the association between access to online consumer credit and household consumption. We find that online consumer credit has a significantly positive relationship with household consumption. Heterogeneity analysis shows that the relationship between online consumer credit and household consumption is more obvious among poorer households and households resided in less developed areas, which partially reflects the inclusiveness of online consumer credit. Further analysis shows that online consumer credit mainly increases the expenditures of large-sum and non-daily items, which suggests that online consumer credit has promoted consumption upgrading of households. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
This study seeks to look into the factors that account for consumers’ post-purchase regrets (cognitive dissonance). From the review of relevant literature, Impulse Buying, Price of the Item Purchased, Level of Consumer Decision Process, Level of Expectation, Level of Consumer Involvement and Reversibility of Purchase Decision were identified as some of the factors that account for consumers’ post-purchase regrets. As a result, these factors were discussed in the paper and used as the independent variables in the research, with Cognitive Dissonance (Post Purchase Regrets) being the dependent variable. Quantitative approaches were used for data collection. The finding in this research shows that only price is significantly related to post-purchase regret. As a result, marketers are advised to adopt the most cost effective method of production to be able to charge relatively lower prices without loosing sight on the quality of the product.
Article
This study seeks to look into the factors that account for consumers’ post-purchase regrets (cognitive dissonance). From the review of relevant literature, Impulse Buying, Price of the Item Purchased, Level of Consumer Decision Process, Level of Expectation, Level of Consumer Involvement and Reversibility of Purchase Decision were identified as some of the factors that account for consumers’ post-purchase regrets. As a result, these factors were discussed in the paper and used as the independent variables in the research, with Cognitive Dissonance (Post Purchase Regrets) being the dependent variable. Quantitative approaches were used for data collection. The finding in this research shows that only price is significantly related to post-purchase regret. As a result, marketers are advised to adopt the most cost effective method of production to be able to charge relatively lower prices without loosing sight on the quality of the product.
Article
This study seeks to look into the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets (cognitive dissonance). From the review of relevant literature, Impulse Buying, Price of the Item Purchased, Level of Consumer Decision Process, Level of Expectation, Level of Consumer Involvement and Reversibility of Purchase Decision were identified as some of the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets. As a result, these factors were discussed in the paper and used as the independent variables in the research, with Cognitive Dissonance (Post Purchase Regrets) being the dependent variable. Quantitative approaches were used for data collection. The finding in this research shows that only price is significantly related to post-purchase regret. As a result, marketers are advised to adopt the most cost effective method of production to be able to charge relatively lower prices without loosing sight on the quality of the product.
Chapter
Consumer credit is a major financial market worldwide. The market is a driver of economic growth that benefits consumers by allowing them to make purchases at times they otherwise could not afford. In this chapter we focus on consumers’ use of credit to fund purchases and how decisions to borrow are made. We also consider consequences of credit use, particularly negative ones such as over-indebtedness. Our conceptualization of the borrowing decision process taps into the perspective of dual process theories of judgement and decision making. Thus, decisions to borrow are partly effortless, fast, automatic, and emotionally charged, partly effortful, slow, deliberate, and cold-headed. Antecedents of credit use are needs aroused by old consumer products being worn out or desires evoked by the availability and marketing of new products. A major determinant of borrowing referred to as present-biased temporal discounting is that people judge the value of immediate consumption to exceed the value of deferred consumption. We review research on factors that limit borrowing by strengthening or weakening self-control. We also review research showing how borrowers evaluate credit options and decide which to accept. We further note that the pain of repaying loans may undermine satisfaction derived from consumption for borrowed money and that over-indebtedness has negative psychological consequences. Finally, we suggest issues for future research, including interventions to reduce overspending and overborrowing, the antecedent role of attitudes, the utility of qualitative versus quantitative information for informed credit choices, and the role of broader psychological support for those over-indebted.
Thesis
An economic crisis has severe consequences for a country in terms of high job losses, lower income and a decrease in investments. Consumer demands are an important factor to help keep the economy strong, but when consumers are over-indebted, losing their jobs or experiencing a slowdown in income, it will cause a downward trend in the economy. A severe increase in the debt-to-income ratio of households took place in South Africa the last decade. Credit was extremely easy to obtain and no measures were in place to determine whether individuals were able to repay the debt. An increase in interest rates on personal and home loans led to individuals becoming over-indebted. Currently consumers not only face high interest rates, but also extremely high cost of living in terms of electricity rates, and petrol and food prices. At present consumers thus find themselves strangled in a web of debt and high costs, which make it impossible for them to even think of putting money aside for savings and retirement. In addition, South Africa is currently experiencing a slow savings rate, which also causes a set-back on economic growth. Many financial problems originate from the lack of personal financial knowledge. Financial problems result in divorce, stress and depression, bankruptcy and a decline in employee performance and productivity. Yet, some adults do not even have basic educational training. Other factors contributing to financial problems include financial phobia, compulsive buying behaviour and debt. Financial literacy is an important tool for daily personal financial management in that it helps an individual make wise financial decisions, overcoming or avoiding debt and increasing savings. Young married couples tend to ignore one another's different ideas about money and their different money management personalities. Managing finances as a couple is much more challenging than doing so individually. Each spouse has a different perception of money and reveals different behaviours and attitudes towards their finances. Lack of communication between couples on their differences can cause arguments between them. A couple's marital satisfaction depends partly on their personal financial management practices. Marital dissatisfaction can lead to divorce. The aim of this study was to obtain information regarding the young, married couples‟ personal financial management practices of living in the Bloemfontein area during 2010 and 2011. The secondary objectives aimed to evaluate the importance of sound financial management for an individual or within a marriage. In addition to this, to determine how young married couples manage their finances, communicate and disagree, and the behaviours, attitudes and perceptions they have regarding their finances. The target population consisted of 75 married couples; in other words, 150 respondents completed the questionnaire. The results show that approximately 30% of the respondents never put money aside for savings and retirement. Compared to the literature, nine out of every 10 individuals do not have enough money to live on when they reach their retirement age, which forces them to continue working. One out of every two respondents has a credit card and clothing accounts, and vehicle finance was close to this figure. Couples prefer to share the decision-making with regards to their financial matters in the household. Couples who constantly disagreed on financial matters amounted to 11,5%. A spouse's debt situation is the biggest contributor to financial stress in a marriage. Of the total respondents, 20% were extremely negative about their personal finances and 59,3% refuse to consult a financial advisor regarding financial matters, while 36,7% of the respondents were dissatisfied with their present financial situation. Each spouse has a higher esteem of their own personal financial management practices compared to how their partners perceive their management practices. Overall, the confidence in the husband's personal financial management practices are rated the highest by both husband and wife.
Article
Full-text available
Összefoglalásként megállapítható, hogy a LOHAS fogyasztók sajátos értékítélete számos területen új helyzetet eredményez, ami az ágazati szereplőket és a marketingszakembereket egyaránt kihívás elé állítja. A szegmens valódi jelentősége azonban nem ebben rejlik, ugyanis nem hunyhatunk szemet a bevezetésben nevesített környezeti és társadalmi problémák felett. Így a LOHAS fogyasztói csoport gazdasági jelentősége mellett nem szabad megfeledkezni arról sem, hogy belső értékeik és szemléletmódjuk egy egészségesebb társadalmat és egy tisztább, élhetőbb környezet helyeznek kilátásba. Ezek alapján úgy gondoljuk, hogy méltán kelthet érdeklődést az, hogy mekkora az arányuk a magyar társadalomban, illetve mi jellemzi vásárlási döntéseiket.
Article
Full-text available
Az 1990-es évekig a marketing fókuszában azok a cserefolyamatok álltak, amelyekben a hatalom birtokosa a termelő volt. Az erőforrások korlátozottságának és a környezeti kihívásoknak a felismerésével, a harmadik évezred elején olyan globális kérdések foglalkoztatják a marketing szakembereket, mint a fenntartható fejlődés és a fenntartható fogyasztás. Kutatásunk célja a fenntartható értékrend szerinti életstílus elemzésével meghatározni a magyarországi LOHAS fogyasztói csoport nagyságát, melyet három lépésben valósítottunk meg. Elsőként a fenntartható értékrend hazai megjelenését vizsgáltuk faktorelemzés segítségével. Ezt követően elvégeztük a magyar fogyasztók értékrend alapú életstílus szegmentációját k-means klaszterezési eljárás segítségével, végül pedig további szegmentációval megbecsültük a LOHAS értékek iránt legelkötelezettebb fogyasztói csoport nagyságát. Célkitűzésünk volt továbbá, hogy eredményeinket összehasonlítsuk Rácz (2013) azonos módszertannal végzett tudományos munkájának legfontosabb megállapításaival. A kutatás célkitűzéseinek megvalósítására egy 1000 fős országos reprezentatív kérdőíves megkérdezést indítottunk 2013 szeptemberében Magyarországon. Az értékorientált életstílus kutatás során 25 életstílus-állítást fogalmaztunk meg. A 25 állítás 5 tényező mentén került kialakításra, amelyek a következők voltak: környezettudatos értékek, egészségtudatos értékek, etikus értékek, autentikus értékek, individualista értékek. Eredményeink szerint a magyar fogyasztók értékrendjében jelen vannak a fenntarthatóság irányába mutató jellemzők, és azok hat értékkategóriába különülnek el: individualista értékek, autentikus értékek, környezettudatos értékek, etikus kompetenciaértékek, egészségtudatos értékek, etikus vállalati értékek. Az értékdimenziók közül az autentikus értékek, az egészség- és környezettudatosság, valamint az etikus vállalati magatartás meghatározó jelentőségűek a magyar lakosság számára. A fenntartható értékrend mentén öt értékalapú szegmentumot tudtunk elkülöníteni, ezek név szerint az Idősödő közömbösek (16,4%), a Fiatal trendkövetők (32,1%), a Fiatal környezettudatosak (18,6%), az Etikus hagyománytisztelők (22,6%) és a Csalódott pesszimisták (10,3%). A legnagyobb klaszter, a Fiatal trendkövetők csoportja körvonalazza leginkább a LOHAS fogyasztók életstílusának jellemzőit. A szegmens azonban nem tekinthető teljes egészében a LOHAS értékek iránt elkötelezett fogyasztói csoportnak. A legnagyobb heterogenitást az etikus kompetenciaértékek mentén mutatják a Fiatal trendkövetők, ezért szükségesnek tartottuk a csoport további szegmentálását a legelkötelezettebb LOHAS fogyasztók arányának meghatározása érdekében. Az etikus kompetencia- jellemzőket leginkább felülértékelő harmadik alklaszter feleltethető meg a magyar LOHAS fogyasztói csoportnak. Eredményeink alapján arányuk 8,7% a magyar lakosságon belül, amely lényegében megegyezik Rácz (2013) megközelítően 8,0%-os csoportméretével.
Article
This article uses a random digit dial probability sample (N = 328) to examine the relationship between credit card use behaviors and household well-being during a period of severe economic recession: The Great Recession. The ability to measure the role of credit card use during a period of recession provides unique insights to the study of credit behavior because of the knowledge that all respondents have the same macroeconomic constraint. Framed by the assumptions of the permanent income hypothesis and the life-cycle savings hypothesis, multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between credit card use behaviors and three measures of household well-being: emotional well-being, financial well-being, and general household financial condition. © 2017 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.
Article
Full-text available
Este trabalho tem por objetivo avaliar qual a percepção dos colaboradores em uma Cooperativa de Crédito quanto a importância da alfabetização financeira dos seus cooperados, levando em consideração, as normas existentes na OCDE e do BACEN que tratam sobre a boa prática da educação financeira, buscando verificar a importância da educação financeira para os cooperados é relevante a partir da percepção dos colaboradores da cooperativa. A pesquisa é um estudo descritivo, com levantamento de dados por meio de questionário estruturado e com análise de dados com a utilização de métodos quantitativos. A amostra final ficou composta pelos 87 questionários válidos, correspondendo a 68,5% da população pesquisada. A pesquisa de campo do tipo survey, foi realizada no segundo semestre de 2014. Identificaram-se, por meio da Análise Fatorial Exploratória, quatro construtos a partir das 19 variáveis do estudo, denominados: conhecimento financeiro; redução de riscos; prática financeira; visibilidade externa, evidenciando empiricamente a relevância da educação financeira em uma instituição de cunho financeiro. Considerando as médias dos quatro construtos, e da maioria das variáveis que os compõem, percebe-se que o conhecimento financeiro é uma questão relevante no âmbito da instituição a partir da percepção dos colaboradores, seguido da visibilidade externa. A principal contribuição deste estudo foi buscar evidências empíricas sobre a aplicabilidade da alfabetização financeira a partir dos princípios e recomendações sobre a boa prática da educação financeira.
Article
Full-text available
This study seeks to look into the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets (cognitive dissonance). From the review of relevant literature, Impulse Buying, Price of the Item Purchased, Level of Consumer Decision Process, Level of Expectation, Level of Consumer Involvement and Reversibility of Purchase Decision were identified as some of the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets. As a result, these factors were discussed in the paper and used as the independent variables in the research, with Cognitive Dissonance (Post Purchase Regrets) being the dependent variable. Quantitative approaches were used for data collection. The finding in this research shows that only price is significantly related to post-purchase regret. As a result, marketers are advised to adopt the most cost effective method of production to be able to charge relatively lower prices without loosing sight on the quality of the product.
Article
Full-text available
This study seeks to look into the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets (cognitive dissonance). From the review of relevant literature, Impulse Buying, Price of the Item Purchased, Level of Consumer Decision Process, Level of Expectation, Level of Consumer Involvement and Reversibility of Purchase Decision were identified as some of the factors that account for consumers' post-purchase regrets. As a result, these factors were discussed in the paper and used as the independent variables in the research, with Cognitive Dissonance (Post Purchase Regrets) being the dependent variable. Quantitative approaches were used for data collection. The finding in this research shows that only price is significantly related to post-purchase regret. As a result, marketers are advised to adopt the most cost effective method of production to be able to charge relatively lower prices without loosing sight on the quality of the product.
Thesis
Full-text available
Los seres humanos están causando alteraciones profundas en el planeta, llevándolo a escenarios cercanos a una gran crisis ambiental y hasta el colapso para ciertos sectores de la población, si las condiciones tecnológicas, de acceso a recursos, de incremento poblacional y de niveles de consumo se mantienen. Los responsables del consumo que no respeta los límites biofísicos del planeta son los consumidores, no la industria o el comercio, es por esto, que se vuelve necesario modificar los hábitos de consumo. Esta investigación pretende comprender cómo se pueden cambiar los hábitos de consumo a través de políticas públicas para reducir el impacto sobre el medioambiente. La discusión teórica vincula a las políticas públicas sobre consumo sustentable con los temas de poder y participación ciudadana, partiendo del supuesto que cambios profundos solo son posibles a través de la organización y politización de los consumidores, transformados en ciudadanos. En este referencial teórico se cuestiona la concepción de que un futuro para todos es contradictorio con los preceptos de la sociedad de consumo, imperante en el mundo contemporáneo y que privilegia la rentabilidad económica, el inmediatismo y la individualidad; presentando al decrecimiento como una alternativa política a los modelos desarrollistas y materialistas basados em el consumo y el desarrollo. El carácter de la investigación está enmarcado en la teoría crítica, mediante un abordaje cualitativo. El tipo de investigación es un estudio de caso múltiple que analiza dos instrumentos de política pública implementados en el archipiélago de Galápagos, provincia ecuatoriana de gran biodiversidad y potencial turístico. La investigación se centra en el análisis de la regulación que restringue el ingreso de vehículos a Galápagos y la prohibión de uso de productos plásticos desechables en esta provincia. La investigación arrojó que la formulación e implementación de políticas públicas que limitan el consumo en Galápagos deben considerar la gestión de la resistencia y de los factores de conflicto percibidos en la población, en las instituciones públicas y en su proceso de ejecución; con la existencia de condiciones estructurales vinculadas a la oferta de alternativas, incentivos, infraestructura física pública, información y educación, dentro de un proceso planificado que permita acuerdos, participación social e incidencia; y con las distorsiones detectadas en su implementación, principalmente en el incumplimiento de la normativa por parte de la ciudadanía y de los funcionarios públicos responsables de su cumplimiento.
Chapter
This chapter presents the overview of consumer attitude; the aspects of consumer attitude, trust propensity, purchasing behavior, and consumer confidence; the perspectives of consumer attitude, social media, and online brand community; the facets of consumer attitude and technology adoption; the emerging trends of consumer attitude and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); the concept of sustainable consumption; the characteristics of sustainable fashion consumption and sustainable apparel consumption; sustainable energy consumption; sustainable food consumption; the challenges of sustainable development; and the importance of sustainable consumption and sustainability. The chapter argues that mastering consumer attitude and sustainable consumption has the potential to enhance organizational performance and reach strategic goals in the digital age.
Article
With the improvement in people's living standards, emission reductions in consumption have become more significant. Accordingly, we defined the concept of the carbon capability of urban residents. We analyzed in depth the generation mechanism and evolution process of capability and further constructed an advanced five-dimensional model of carbon capability that embodies carbon values, carbon identification capability, carbon choice capability, carbon action capability, and carbon influence capability. We also proposed and gave a clear explanation of the connotations of the multi-layered levels of carbon capability, which include the threshold level, shaping level, effective level, maturity level, and leadership level. Based on our survey of 890 urban residents in Jiangsu Province, we statistically analyzed the current situation of urban residents' carbon capability and the differences in the social demographic variables. The results indicate that carbon identification capability and carbon influence capability are the main segments hindering carbon capability, the detection rate of inferior value is almost 50%, and there is an obvious "multi-layered gap" phenomenon that is evident from carbon values to carbon influence capability. With the upgrading of education that has occurred, carbon values, carbon identification capability, and carbon selection capability have all been strengthened gradually and the gap between carbon identification capability and carbon values is getting larger, but the gap between carbon action capability and carbon identification capability shows a U-shaped variation trend. With the increase in income levels, the gap between carbon action capability and carbon choice capability shows an inverted U-shaped variation trend. Except for carbon identification capability, the mean values of the capability of men are all lower than those of women as well as the gap between carbon action capability and carbon choice capability. This study provided a guide for policy from the viewpoint of achieving a sustainable improvement in urban residents' carbon capability.
Article
Full-text available
You may recognize the name Elizabeth Warren. A Harvard law professor, she is one of the co-authors of As We Forgive Our Debtors and The Fragile Middle Class. The co-author of this book is her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, a business consultant. Together they bring an interesting perspective to the financial reality faced by many families today. They point out that bankruptcy is becoming increasingly common. The authors argue that bankruptcy is not the result of deadbeats and extravagant spenders as is argued by many of the proponents for change in the bankruptcy laws. Increasingly fragile middle-class families living too close to the edge without any safety net are causing the increase in bankruptcy numbers in today's society. The most common attributes of persons filing for bankruptcy today are a lost job, a serious medical problem, and divorce. Almost 90 percent of the new bankruptcy filings, according to the authors, follow one of these three life events. Another point raised by Warren and Tyagi is the cost of children. At one time, children were considered assets to a family, but that is no longer true. Children are expensive and the benefits that parents enjoy from children today are strictly non-financial. The authors go so far as to say that having a child is the best predictor that a woman will end in financial collapse. Many middle-class families believed that sending the second parent into the labor market would make life easier, at least financially. It is true that women have opportunities and incomes that were unheard of just a generation ago. But even with that, having two earners in the family appears to have lessened the family's ability to withstand financial disaster because these two-income families have given up the backup provision of having a parent at home who could tend to aged parents, take care of children outside of school, and enter the labor market in times of disaster, such as job loss or disability.
Article
Full-text available
Individuals and households make many decisions that are critical in shaping our energy future. As citizens , people favor some policies and oppose others, support some candidates for elective of½ce and not others, write op-eds, comment on blogs, and otherwise engage in political action. They attempt to influence decisions that help determine which kind of local, state, federal, and international policies are adopted, and such policies in turn shape the energy system of the future. People sometimes engage in more direct politics by organizing to support or oppose proposed technological changes, especially the siting of new facilities. For example, the use of nuclear power in the United States stopped expanding in the 1980s largely as a result of massive public opposition to new nuclear power plants. 1 Current proposals for developing wind power facilities often face serious local opposition, as do efforts to develop unconventional shale gas deposits and to implement smart electrical grids and smart home metering. 2 Such political actions are critically important to the energy futures of democracies. We focus here, Abstract: Actions by individuals and households to reduce carbon-based energy consumption have the potential to change the picture of U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the near term. To tap this potential, however, energy policies and programs need to replace outmoded assumptions about what drives human behavior; they must integrate insights from the behavioral and social sciences with those from engineering and economics. This integrated approach has thus far only occasionally been implemented. This essay summarizes knowledge from the social sciences and from highly successful energy programs to show what the potential is and how it can be achieved.
Article
Full-text available
The authors focus upon the changing nature of production and consumption within the retail financial services industry. The perennial problem which faces all producers of financial services is information asymmetry; that is, providers and consumers of financial products have unequal amounts of information about whether or not customers have the wherewithal to make them 'capable' purchasers. Thus, the problem of information asymmetry is usually manifested in a priori decisionmaking about the suitability of customers. This problem has traditionally been overcome by forging interpersonal relationships of trust with consumers through copresence. Increasingly, however, trust in consumers is being forged through technologically mediated means of information collection functioning 'at a distance' so that financial services producers are coming to 'read' consumers as 'texts' through the medium of databases. These developments have had a number of effects, such as increased competition in retail financial markets, while branch networks, which acted as durable barriers to entry to the market, have become less important as sites of market intelligence and knowledge. Consumers have also been forced to forge new relations of trust with retail financial service providers. This is increasingly being achieved through the use of various media and through identification with brands. Such developments have served to create social and spatial divisions of financial inclusion and exclusion, as producers use at-a-distance information to discriminate between 'good' and 'bad' customers. Those 'inside' the financial system are able to use their financial knowledge to take advantage of increased levels of competition between financial service providers. However, those excluded from the financial system are doubly handicapped as they live in both a financial and an information shadow. Such individuals are likely to pay an increasingly heavy price for their exclusion, particularly given the collapse of universal welfare provision and the allied growth of private welfare-related financial products. In recognition of this, in the final part of the paper we consider ways of countering problems of financial exclusion and low levels of financial literacy.
Book
This book, published in 1986, addresses questions concerned with a central normative principle in contemporary assessments of economic policies and systems. What does 'consumer sovereignty' mean? Is consumer sovereignty an appropriate principle for the optimization and evaluation of the design and performance of economic policies, institutions and systems? If not, what is a more appropriate principle? The author argues that the conception of consumer sovereignty has to be broadened so that it is not limited to the market mechanism but includes environmental, work and social preferences. However, even this version runs into serious difficulties as the principle of consumer sovereignty still relies on too subjectivist a conception of the interests of individuals to be suitable for the evaluation of economic institutions. An alternative basis for such evaluation is 'human interests' that are not contingent on particular economic systems, After considering various possibilities, a basic-needs approach is proposed and its use in economic evaluation illustrated.
Book
This volume examines the response of governments in the industrialized countries to the challenge of sustainable development. It focuses on the response of central governments in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, the USA, and the EU. The study shows that sustainable development has been integrated into governmental idiom in most jurisdictions, and has come to be associated with a series of changes to the structures and approaches deployed to manage environmental problems. Yet, it also reveals significant differences of interpretation and priority across the governments surveyed. The study pays particular attention to various understandings of sustainable development, institutional reform, government engagement with other societal actors, national plans and strategies, and the policy areas of climate change and biodiversity.
Article
In this article we report on a little‐known aspect of the consumer credit explosion: It has also happened among the poor. Focusing on credit cards, we use data from four releases of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), 1983–1995, to trace the evolution of the debt position of the poor as compared to that of the population at large. The data indicate that from 1983 to 1995 the fraction of poor households with a credit card more than doubled, and the average balances held on these cards rose almost as rapidly as the balances of nonpoor households. In 1983, fewer than 1 in 30 poor households had credit card debts greater than twice their monthly incomes; by 1995, more than 1 in 8 did. There is no strong evidence at the moment that the added debt has increased the financial distress of these households. Nonetheless, because of the debt increase, poor households at the end of the 1990s are more vulnerable to an economic downturn than they were at the end of the 1980s.© 1998 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Article
International institutions over the past decade have begun to emphasize the need to reduce the environmental impacts of heavily consumerist lifestyles in affluent nations as a precondition for sustainable development. Originally outlined in Agenda 21, and discussed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, sustainable consumption has now emerged as a definable domain of global environmental politics. At the level of high environmental politics, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have played key roles in reframing environmental deterioration as a consumption problem, rather than a production problem. However, within specific national contexts policymakers and social activists are seeking to engage with the difficult conceptual and political dilemmas posed by contemporary modes of material provisioning. This introductory overview highlights the historical background on the nascent issue of sustainable consumption and summarizes the three comparative case studies that follow: the Netherlands, France, and the United States. The experiences of these countries suggest that the concept of sustainable consumption is quite malleable, and its practical application is shaped by the political culture and policy styles of specific national contexts.
Article
This book concerns the rapid advance of consumerism in affluent countries, which has caused much environmental harm, yet has failed to provide a sense of fulfilment. An asssessment of consumption is presented, which includes the consumer society, the perceived rewards of consumption and its costs. Several trends that promote materialism are examined, such as the expansion of the advertising industry. In a section on searching for sufficiency the author examines food and drink, transport and the "throwaway society'. The message that runs through the text is that we should reject excess and live within our means, and this will result in true happiness. -C.Lloyd
Book
In this book, the authors set out to create an equitable and ecologically sound framework which encompasses the diverse needs of North and South. An innovative philosophy and measurement system is proposed which is based on the concept of environmental space. Drawing on original research in 38 countries, and funded by the EU, the book attempts to establish an agenda for sustainable production by the year 2020. Readers are given an explanation of the opportunities of the global market economy as a tool of development, and it is suggested that this be altered in ways which would lead to the achievement of genuine quality of life rather than just economic growth. The book challenges all countries and peoples to join in a pro-active movement towards sustainable development in the 21st century.
Book
Confronting Consumption places consumption at the center of debate by conceptualizing "the consumption problem" and documenting diverse efforts to confront it. In part 1, the book frames consumption as a problem of political and ecological economy,. emphasizing core concepts of individualization and commoditization. Part 2 develops the idea of distancing and examines transnational chains of consumption in the context of economic globalization. Part 3 describes citizen action through local currencies, home power, voluntary simplicity, "ad-busting", and product certification. Together, the chapters propose "cautious consuming" and "better producing" as an activist policy response to environmental problems. The book concludes that confronting consumption must become a driving force of contemporary environmental scholarship and activism. ***Winner of the International Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book on international environmental affairs
Article
Preface Consumer Credit as a Social Control Mechanism Advent of Post-Fordist Cultural Developments Consumer Credit and the Experiential Realm The Advertising Industry Commodity Distribution Networks Consumer Debt and the Social Impact of Credit Implications of a Consumer Credit Society References
Book
This edited volume examines the response of governments in the industrialized countries to the challenge of sustainable development. It focuses on the response of central governments in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, the USA, and the EU. The study shows that sustainable development has been integrated into governmental idiom in most jurisdictions, and has come to be associated with a series of changes to the structures and approaches deployed to manage environmental problems. Yet, it also reveals significant differences of interpretation and priority across the governments surveyed. The study pays particular attention to various understandings of sustainable development, institutional reform, government engagement with other societal actors, national plans and strategies, and the policy areas of climate change and biodiversity. Keywords: biodiversity, climate change, comparative politics, developed countries, environmental problems, governance, institutional reform, strategy, sustainable development
Article
The idea of sustainable development has survived nearly a decade of rhetorical excess and academic criticism. From the Brundtland report to Agenda 21, it has remained the central goal and guiding norm of environment‐and‐development politics. Though an essentially contested concept, it retains a widespread moral appeal. This is possibly due to the concept's dual ethical foundation. By giving expression to both ‘realist’ (natural‐law) and ‘consensualist’ (democratic) norms, it can claim support with respect to a broad spectrum of moral imperatives. The potential of the idea as a mobilising force for domestic political change lies in a combination of scientifically‐based moral urgency and a near‐unanimous global acclamation. In addition, the politics of the UNCED process provide new and effective arenas for an emerging global civil society at a time of declining influence for national interest groups. The potential for change is illustrated by a descriptive analysis of the follow‐up to the Rio Summit in the area of ‘sustainable production and consumption’.
Article
The greater reluctance of low-income, low-wealth Black families to use checking and savings accounts than of low-income, low-wealth White families is only partially explained by regression models that consider a wide array of demographic variables. The greater reluctance impedes Black families from getting the benefits of participating in financial markets. Moreover, the success of low-income, low-wealth Black families in managing credit is not found to differ from that of low-income, low-wealth White families. But the Black families owe less credit card and other noncollateralized debt than do the White families, implying either that Black families have a lower demand for such debt or that lenders are biased against them. Black families are less likely to achieve wealth increases than are White families because of differences in labor income and, to a lesser degree, gifts and inheritances. This has implications for the continued wealth disparity between Black Americans and White Americans.
Article
The concept of ‘environmental space’ and its use to derive ‘sustainability targets’ which can be integrated into economic policy is explained. The methodology used to quantify environmental space in a major research project commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and undertaken by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and the Environment in 1994 is summarized. Quantified sustainability targets for key environmental resources are presented, based on the findings of the Wuppertal Institute's research. These targets and the scale of actions required to achieve them are briefly compared with the aims and proposals of the EU's Fifth Environmental Action Programme. National and EU policy options for reducing the consumption of key environmental resources to sustainable levels are discussed, with particular reference to target-setting, economic policy and planning. The capacity of the Action Programme and other European policy initiatives to deliver these policy changes is considered.
Article
Trading Up: The New American Luxury by Michael Silverstein, Neil Fiske and John Butman. Reviewed by Ian YeomanJournal of Revenue & Pricing Management (2004) 3, 204–205; doi:10.1057/palgrave.rpm.5170108
We raise four challenges to the claim of ecological modernization theory (EMT) that continued modernization is necessary for ecological sustainability. First, EMT needs to go beyond merely demonstrating that societies modify their institutions in reaction to environmental problems and show that such modifications lead to ecological improvements. Second, EMT must show that late stages of modernizing processes lead to the ecological transformation of production and consumption at relatively high frequency. Third, EMT must demonstrate that industries or firms that are reducing their direct impact on the environment are not contributing to the expansion of negative impacts by other industries or firms. Fourth, EMT must show not only that economies are becoming more resource efficient but also that the pace of increase in efficiency exceeds the pace of increase in overall production. In this article, we review the existing evidence and find that EMT has insufficiently addressed these four issues.
Article
Technology and Culture 46.1 (2005) 261-262 In the early 1990s, the Winterthur Museum and Library ventured into the late-nineteenth century with a fall conference and proceedings volume called "The Substance of Style." The conference focused on the usual topics about the so-called Arts and Crafts Movement presented by the usual suspects. The papers scrutinized oak chairs, china painting, and so on. Lots of style, plenty of substantial aesthetic analysis. Some ten years later, Virginia Postrel borrowed the title of the Winterthur conference for her book about style and substance in contemporary American culture. A regular contributor to the New York Times and Forbes, Postrel is a journalist from Dallas who takes pride in challenging the status quo. Her first book, The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress (1998), made her a cult figure among libertarians, who regularly contribute a running dialogue to her Web site. Make no mistake, Postrel's new work has nothing to do with Victorian craft revivals and the middle-class cult of the defective. Her Substance of Style is a highly readable essay on how and why style as aesthetics has come to be a part of daily life in the twenty-first century. Postrel describes our times as the age of aesthetics, wherein the way things look, feel, and smell have come to matter—not just among the upper-middle classes but among all consumers. Unlike Victorian craft revival scholars and their elite audiences, Postrel is interested in the mass market and the impact of aesthetics on the lives of ordinary people. While many cultural critics decry Wal-Mart as a horrific scar on the American landscape, Postrel finds much to admire in the stores of this retailing giant. So too she looks at the products sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Sears, and J. C. Penny and sees considerable aesthetic merit, attributing this phenomenon to consumer demand. Americans, she argues, have grown increasingly aware of the emotional and spiritual fulfillment value of beauty, and they clamor to buy goods that fit the bill. In this context, the enormous success of Starbucks stems from the ability of the coffee giant's marketers to provide a modicum of luxury for a modest price, and to imagine how slightly different interiors might appeal to coffee drinkers from different neighborhoods. Starbucks is high-quality homey, a look that captures the essence of comfort and quality that lies at the heart of the new aesthetic age. Postrel launches The Substance of Style with a timely, and compelling, example that gets to the heart of her argument. As the Taliban fell, the people of Afghanistan rushed in their new freedom to buy imported TVs and VCRs and to wear burkhas in colors like brown, peach, and green. Afghan men lined up at barbershops, while Afghan women painted their fingernails red. Some cultural critics, predictably, decried all of this as the decline of authentic culture and the sorry influence of Western materialism. Not Postrel, whose anthropological antennae are less attuned to academic wavelengths than to the ins and outs of contemporary culture. She sees the Afghan consumers as simply partaking in material pleasure, as do their American counterparts at their local shopping malls and full-service salons. In six chapters, Postrel explores different aspects of our aesthetic age, with reference to its historical roots in the postwar culture of abundance. Yet she is interested in doing more than chronicling the democratization of goods made possible by mass production. She is concerned to explain the widespread cultural acceptance of aesthetics as an important factor in human existence. Postrel is too astute to parrot arguments about the role of designers in reshaping the vulgar tastes of the masses into something more refined. Instead, she argues that there is something fundamentally human about wanting nice things and nice surroundings. In the late twentieth century, several factors, including the spread of fine-arts education and the birth of media venues such as Home and Garden TV and...