No SDES-2016-14
Title Solving intergenerational sustainability dilemma through imaginary future generations: A qualitative-deliberative approach
Author Yoshinori Nakagawa, Koji Kotani, Yoshio Kamijo and Tatsuyoshi Saijo
Abstract The current generation affects future generations, but not vice versa. This one-way nature of dependence over generations is known to be a main cause for many important problems such as climate change and accumulation of government debts. The occurrence of these problems is characterized by the fact that the current generation tends to choose an action in favor of their benefit without considering future generations, which we call "intergenerational sustainability dilemma (ISD)." This paper designs and implements deliberation experiments of the ISD with a single generation of three people, and examine how the dilemma can be solved. A treatment, "cap of future generations" (capped player), is suggested in which one person in the current generation is asked to be a representative from future without any obligation. We conduct a novel qualitative-deliberative analysis of recorded discussions for 10 minutes of each generation’s decision, contributing to the two points. First, we find the conditions under which intergenerational sustainability is enhanced through deliberations. That is, one member in a group voluntarily plays a role of icebreakers for deliberation and/or a capped player is present in a group. We demonstrate that when an icebreaker and/or a capped player are present during deliberation, the group brings more varieties of ideas and viewpoints for the ISD, leading to higher intergenerational sustainability. Second, this research illustrates how a qualitative-deliberative analysis can be usefully amalgamated with economic experiments as a new methodology to reveal human behaviors and preferences in collective-decision making.
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