Does Sustainability-Promoting Policy Making Reduce Our Welfare?
Under certain conditions consumer welfare is not diminished by reductions in economic growth or even de-growth. If, however, there are negative welfare effects, how can the policy interventions that trigger them be legitimized? How will consumers as voters react in the political arena if policy interventions are proposed that are likely to cause welfare sacrifices? For answering these questions the present paper develops an extended explanation of consumption behavior and welfare related to work in the human sciences on the evolved foundations of human behavior. The approach allows a differentiated view on the driving forces and the welfare effects of consumption growth as well as legitimization and acceptance problems of different sustainability-promoting policy options.