European Integration - Realities and Perspectives 2012
Modelling the Choices of Romanian Consumers
in the Context of the Current Economic Crisis
, Doinita Ariton
Abstract: Consumption is a key factor of the nowadays post-industrial society, while it is a real engine of
production, diversity of off er and demand, and motive for innovation. On the other side, consumption c an be
harmful to the same society and to en vironment if it develops in an un-sustainable way. That is why,
understanding the c onsumer behaviour is of great importance not only to satisfy his or her needs but also to
find appropriate means to educate people and issue policies that can lead to sustainable consumption and
development. The p aper presents some models and theories regarding the consumer behaviour and proposes
means to influence consumption characteristics and habits of people. The modelling approach is
deterministic, using Expectancy-Value theory, taking into acc ount not only explicit (rational) choices but also
habits or incentives (non-rational choices), in a weighted quantita tive model. The novelty of the approach
consists in the way non-rational choices are tak en into consideration for the exis ting model, and on how i t is
used in determining directions for sustainable consumption. The study is developed on public data regarding
consumers of general goods in Romania.
Keywords: consumer behaviour models; Expectancy-Value Theory; sustainable consumption.
JEL Classification: M0; M1; M10
Today, in the frame of the “consumer society” it became very important to study the consumer’s
behaviour and its impact in various aspects of the society. In the common view of nowadays citizen,
the consumer rights and consuming in general are obvious everyday matters that, perhaps, do not
matter at all but satisfying some needs – in general or in special ways. However, the actions that any
kind of consumer may take, and choices they make, lead to a certain range of products and services for
a specific way to live. All these actions have direct and indirect impacts on the environment as well as
to community and to personal states.
From the point of view of the consumer, also of the goods suppliers, everyday and special needs
should be satisfied in the best way. From the point of view of the community, also the policy makers,
every consumers’ actions and their impact on the environment should comply with some standards and
restrictions. The dynamics of the society put the two categories of actors face t o face and both facing
the sustainable development desirable needs for saving the future of the earth and the humanity.
For the reasons above, the consumer’s behaviour and consumer culture are of greatest importance;
hence, the scientific world is concerned on: (1) why consumers behave in certain ways? (2) what
factors shape and constrain his or her choices and actions? (3) when do people tend to preserve
environmental or social values and how could they be encouraged? What changes should be made in
their attitudes and in the global/local policy to encourage, motivate and facilitate more sustainable
attitudes, behaviours and lifestyles?
PhDc, Danubius University of Galati, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Romania, Address: 3 Galati B lvd, Galati, Romania,
tel: +40372 361 102, fax: +40372 361 290, Corresponding author: email@example.com.
Professor, PhD, Danubius University of Galati, Faculty of Economic Sciences, R omania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd, Ga lati,
Romania, tel: +40372 361 102, fax: +40372 361 290, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.