Rebounds from producers
ProductionCost reducing efficiency measures in the production process lead to a reinvestment effect. Companies can invest the increased profits either in expanding the production of the same good (direct rebound as expansion) or in investing in new products and services (indirect rebound as diversification of the product range). A more efficient production of three-litre cars leads to capital freed up, which is immediately reinvested, e.g. in the construction of new factories. Santarius 2015, S. 167 ff.
Consumer rebounds
DirectIncreased demand for a service or product that has been caused or at least made possible by an increase in efficiency.Switching from a six-litre to a three-litre car leads to increased use of the three-litre car.Santarius 2015, S.50, Madlener/Alcott 2011 S. 5ff.
IndirectEfficient or sufficient consumption in one product area results in a higher consumption of resources in other consumption areas (e.g. due to purchasing power becoming available).The transition from a six-litre to a three-litre car (due to efficiency) or reduced use of the car (due to sufficiency) leads to consumers fly more often on holiday.Santarius 2015, S.50, Madlener/Alcott 2011 S. 5ff.
Macro vs. micro level
MacroSufficiency or efficiency-related increase in demand that takes place at the macroeconomic level. Lower product demand as a result of efficient or sufficient consumption reduces the price level, which in turn increases demand from other consumers.Short-term decline in prices of large kitchen appliances leads to increased demand and price increases for this product category.Madlener/Alcott 2011 S. 5ff., Alcott 2008
MicroSufficiency or efficiency-related increase in demand that is implemented by (individual) consumers or - aggregated - households. Purchasing power released in certain consumption areas is transferred to other consumption areas and thus causes a higher consumption of resources.Lower sales of six-litre cars (and petrol), but higher sales of holiday trips to distant regions.Madlener/Alcott 2011 S. 5ff., Røpke 1999


Alcott, B. (2008). The sufficiency strategy: Would rich-world frugality lower environmental impact? Ecological Economics, 64(4), 770-786.

Madlener, R. & Alcott, B. (2011). Herausforderungen für eine technischökonomische Entkoppelung von Naturverbrauch und Wirtschaftswachstum unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Systematisierung von Rebound-Effekten und Problemverschiebungen, Enquete‐Kommission “Wachstum, Wohlstand, Lebensqualität” des Deutschen Bundestages, Kommissionsmaterialie M-17 (26)13.

Røpke, I. (1999). The dynamics of willingness to consume. Ecological Economics, 28(3), 399-420.

Santarius, T. (2015). Der Rebound-Effekt: Ökonomische, psychische und soziale Herausforderungen für die Entkopplung von Wirtschaftswachstum und Energieverbrauch. Weimar: Metropolis.

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