'Lifestyle Leapfrogging' in Emerging Economics: Enabling Systemic Shifts to Sustainable Consumption

Schroeder, P. and Anantharaman, M.
Journal of Consumer Policy
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This paper combines the concept of leapfrogging with systems-thinking approaches to outline the potentials for and barriers to enabling systemic shifts to strong sustainable consumption in the emerging economies of China and India.

New urban consumers in China and India have the potential to ‘lifestyle leapfrog’ the high impact lifestyle models of the industrialised countries while simultaneously improving their quality of life. This paper argues that by implementing systemic approaches in the consumption domains of mobility and housing, the historical trajectory of high environmental footprints of mobility and housing can be avoided. The analysis based on systems-thinking principles identifies existing barriers and possible solutions. The importance of policies for strong sustainable consumption is highlighted to induce positive feedback in the areas of markets and society facilitating both efficient technology uptake and behavioural changes.

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Patrick Schröder


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