Experimentation with household dynamics: the consumat approachWander Jager

Marco A. Janssen, Charles Viek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite the abundance of empirical data on household energy consumption, it is hard to predict future developments because of the complexity of the household system. Multi-agent simulation offers a tool to get a better understanding of the relevant behavioural dynamics of the household system. This would allow for an early diagnosis and response to unwanted developments. A computer simulation of consumer behaviour has been developed on the basis of a meta-model of behaviour, which integrates various relevant behavioural theories. This so-called consumat approach has been applied to issues such as the lock-in of consumption patterns and the management of a common resource, and has been applied in an integrated ecological-economic model. This paper discusses the basic principles of the consumat approach, summarizes some results, and draws conclusions with respect to the application of this approach in the domain of household consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioural dynamics
  • consumat
  • consumer behaviour
  • household consumption
  • modelling
  • multi-agent simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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