'towards the Development of a Composite Index for
This report presents the results of the composite European Consumerism Index (ECI). The study is part of the project “La Calidad Social en Europa. Diseño y Construcción de Índices Compuestos para la Medición y Monitorización de la Calidad de las Sociedades Europeas” (“Social Quality in Europe. The Design and Construction of Composite Indices to Measure and Monitor Quality in European Societies”) (CSO2012-35032)”, a continuation of the work begun with the Statistical Institute of Andalusia on the research project “Puesta en marcha del nuevo sistema de indicadores sociales de Andalucía y elaboración de un análisis de la situación social de la población andaluza” (“The Implementation of the New Andalusia Social Indicator System and Analysis of the Social Situation of the Andalusian Population”) (SI-046/08)”. In this case, an indicator system was devised to compare consumption in Andalusia, Spain and the European Union.
Consumption is not a purely economic question. The term consumerism, which evolved during the 1970s refers to demand aimed at modifying market exchange relationships, verging on the sovereignty of the consumer. The goal of the index is to develop a methodological tool to measure the percentage of consumers who currently reflect on the purchasing process –including searches for information about how a product is created– and who assert their rights and are concerned about the possible repercussions for society inherent in their act of purchasing. This approach to the act of consumption is clearly connected to the quality and welfare of the citizenry.
Information is presented about the development of the index and the results of its application in European Union countries, which are associated with different structural variables. The main idea is to investigate whether consumerism is particularly developed in societies with post-materialist values or whether the matter is unrelated.