Friday Meeting - Paolo Zeppini (GREDEG)

"Green Lifestyles and Social Tipping Points"
Quand ? Le 29-09-2017,
de 10:00 à 12:00
Où ? ISEM - Room SCI
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Friday, September 29th, 2017 – ISEM Room SCI – 10:00-12:00

Friday Meeting - Paolo Zeppini – GREDEG UCA


Title : "Green lifestyles and social tipping points"


Abstract: We introduce the concept of sustainable lifestyles in a discrete choice model of consumption behaviour. Agents behave in a `selfish' or `pro-social' way by choosing different degrees of internalisation of environmental damage from the consumption of an environmentally harmful good. Pro-social behaviour means lower consumption, and is rewarded with warm-glow. Moreover, agents' decision is influenced by social norms, which endogenously depend on aggregate choices. The model is developed in a dynamic framework, allowing agents to switch behaviour. Results show that conventional measures limiting consumption at an individual level - like a tax - may increase consumption at the aggregate level. We characterise social tipping points for sustainability transitions in terms of equilibria bifurcations. The model is extended in different directions. A crowding-out effect in social norms gives alternative regimes with negative or positive feedback in decisions. Three scenarios are identified: for strong social norms positive feedback leads to multiple equilibria. For moderate social norms there is a unique equilibrium. For weak social norms, we obtain periodic dynamics of behaviours. In particular, more informed choices and lower variability across agents are `destabilising', leading to periodic dynamics or multiple equilibria. Further extensions look at a state dependent warm-glow and heterogeneous price expectations, with possible chaotic dynamics.


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