Panel 1: What is consumption, and what does it mean for participation?

The consumption of private households is economically defined as monetary expenditures for goods and services by residents for consumption purposes, also including imputed purchases in addition to actual purchases (German Federal Statistical Office, 2013a: 24). However, there is also a more general and much broader concept of consumption: "In essence, consumption refers to the satisfaction of whatever needs, whether non-cash benefits or services, whether paid or not, whether individually or collectively consumed" (Hellmann 2013: 9). In the socioeconomic reporting, the definition of consumption is oriented towards the conceptual framework of the socioecological research performed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), according to which the possession, use and consumption of products, services and infrastructures are instrumentally related to needs (Di Giulio et al. 2011: 48). In other words, the concept of consumption refers no longer exclusively to the monetary purchasing of goods and services, but also includes individual production in private households, community consumption/ trade off, etc. However, such types of consumption can barely be captured, since there are no direct quantifiable variables. The German Federal Statistical Office (2013b: 11) points out the problem between the actual and determinable consumption: "There is a considerable difference between the purchases and the actual use of individual consumption. Since the actual use can empirically hardly be proven, the statistical interest turns to the purchases of private households for private consumer purposes." Yet, it is in fact the actual consumption, or the emotionally motivated consumer behaviour (delimitation, self-representation, group affiliation), which is relevant for living conditions. This creates a tension between assumed and empirically proven consumption. Simultaneously, consumption is crucial for social participation, while it is itself also a manifestation for social participation. However, participation is more than just consumption (Bartelheimer/ Kädtler 2012: 51 f.): "Participation goes beyond fulfilment of demand and consumption. Participation is individually achieved by leading a self-determined life and is assessed in terms of goals in life." The panel is to depict the various concepts of consumption and to combine them into a coherent order. In addition, the interdependence between these concepts and participation is to be discussed.



Dr. Marc Ingo Wolter (GWS): The concept of consumption in the VGR (National Account Systems) and its implementation in modelling

PD Dr. Kai-Uwe Hellmann (Helmut-Schmidt University): What happens after withdrawal from the market? A contribution to consumption in the broader sense

Prof. Dr. Michael-Burkhard Piorkowsky (University of Bonn): Productive aspects of consumption

Prof. Dr. Michaela Pfadenhauer (KIT): Interaction between consumption and participation, or "modest forms of participation"



Bartelheimer, Peter/ Kädtler, Jürgen (2012): Produktion und Teilhabe – Konzepte und Profil sozioökonomischer Berichterstattung. In: Forschungsverbund Sozioökonomischer Berichterstattung (Hrsg.): Berichterstattung zur sozioökonomischen Entwicklung in Deutschland. Teilhabe im Umbruch. Zweiter Bericht. S.41-85. Wiesbaden (VS Verlag).

Di Giulio, Antonietta/ Brohmann, Bettina/ Clausen, Jens/ Defila, Rico/ Fuchs, Doris/ Kaufmann-Hayoz, Ruth/ Koch, Andreas (2011): Bedürfnisse und Konsum – ein Begriffssystem und dessen Bedeutung im Kontext von Nachhaltigkeit. In: Defila, Rica/ Di Giulio, Antonieta/ Kaufmann-Hayoz, Ruth (Hrsg.): Wesen und Wege nachhaltigen Konsums - Ergebnisse aus dem Themenschwerpunkt "Vom Wissen zum Handeln - neue Wege zum nachhaltigen Konsum". S.47-72. München (oekonom).

Hellmann, Kai-Uwe (2013): Der Konsum der Gesellschaft: Studien zur Soziologie des Konsums. Online-Ausgabe. Wiesbaden (Springer Fachmedien).

Statistisches Bundesamt (2013a): Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnungen – Inlandsproduktsberechnung. Detaillierte Jahresergebnisse 2012. Methodische Erläuterungen. Fachserie 18. Reihe 1.4. Wiesbaden.

Statistisches Bundesamt (2013a): Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnungen – Inlandsproduktsberechnung. Detaillierte Jahresergebnisse 2012. Methodische Erläuterungen. Fachserie 18. Reihe 1.4. Wiesbaden.




Slides (German)
Hellmann, Kai-Uwe: Was passiert nach der Marktentnahme? Ein Beitrag zum Konsum im weiteren Sinne. PDF
Wolter, Marc Ingo: Der Konsumbegriff in der VGR und Umsetzung in der Modellierung. PDF
Piorkowsky, Michael-Burkhard: Produktive Aspekte des Konsums. PDF
Pfadenhauer, Michaela: Wechselwirkung zwischen Konsum und Teilhabe bzw. „kleine Formen der Beteiligung“ PDF