Environment and Resources

Project: Direkte, Indirekte, Psychologische und Makroökonomische Rebound Effekte (License)

Project Duration

02/2018 - 01/2021 (current)

Commissioned by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Project Team (RWI)

Prof. Dr. Manuel Frondel (Chief), Lukas Tomberg, Prof. Dr. Colin Vance


Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI), Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaft (ZEW), co2online non-profit GmbH (Unterauftragnehmer), Prof. Dr. Wouter Poortinga (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat), Dr. Tilman Santarius (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat), Prof. Dr. Steven Sorrell (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat), Prof. Dr. John Thøgersen (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat)


In addition to economic factors, also psychological factors help to explain the rebound effect, e.g. through moral licensing: The good feeling of saving resources in one domain can induce people to waste resources in other domains. So far, such effects have hardly been empirically analyzed. This research project will empirically investigate these psychological effects as well as direct, indirect and macroeconomic rebound effects. The focus is on the domains that are particularly relevant for households: electricity, fuel and water as well as heat demand. LICENSE employs an interdisciplinary approach, which is characterized by behavioral economics, psychology and sociology, and by various empirical methods, including experiments, microeconometric analyses of primary and secondary data, microsimulations and macroeconomic analyses.


Selected project related publications

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals


Dütschke, E., M. Frondel, J. Schleich and C. Vance (2018), Moral Licensing: Another Source of Rebound?. Frontiers in Energy Research 6 (38): 1-10. DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2018.00038 

Discussion Papers


Dütschke, E., M. Frondel, J. Schleich and C. Vance (2018), Moral Licensing - Another Source of Rebound?. Ruhr Economic Papers #747. RUB, RWI. DOI: 10.4419/86788867 download