Macro-rebounds describe the effects of increases in energy efficiency on the energy and resource consumption on a macroeconomic level. If, for instance, efficiency improvements increase the factor productivity of energy or materials, it might lead to higher total use of the resource in the sector concerned; falling resource prices might increase resource use in other sectors.
When improvements in resource efficiency occur, a couple of reciprocal effects occur: Several individual decisions on the household- and firm level are influenced by changes of supply and demand in the respective sector(s). For instance, more efficient cross-sectional technologies (such as pumps, electric motors or ventilators) which are used in several sectors might lead to structural change on the macroeconomic level.
Some scientists claim that the practical-political significance of rebound effects is rather low. The ReCap project instead assumes that rebound effects possibly occur way beyond a single sector and influence the development of entire economies. Next to the short-term equilibrium reactions of supply and demand on changes in price and quantity, macroeconomic rebound effects can have long(er)-term effects on consumer behavior, the institutional framework or on the design of production systems.