No SDES-2018-16
Title Concerns for future generations in societies: A deliberative analysis on intergenerational sustainability dilemma
Author Raja R. Timilsina, Koji Kotani, Yoshinori Nakagawa and Tatsuyoshi Saijo
Abstract “Intergenerational sustainability dilemma (ISD)” is a serious problem in that the current generation tends to choose actions to her benefit without considering future generations. However, little is known about how people deliberate and what kind of “concepts” people bring to decide on ISD in societies. We institute field experiments of an ISD game (ISDG) and conduct qualitative deliberative analysis in rural and urban societies of Nepal. A sequence of six generations, each of which consists of three people, is organized and each generation is asked to choose whether to maintain intergenerational sustainability (sustainable option) or maximize her payoff by irreversibly imposing costs on future generations (unsustainable option) in ISDG. Each generation makes a 10-minutes discussion for the decision, enabling deliberative analysis in ISD. The qualitative deliberative analysis shows that the attitudes and concepts, such as ideas, motivations and reasoning, that people discuss during deliberation vary between urban and rural people. A considerable portion of urban people are identified to be “stable” as an “influencer” that consistently argues her support for unsustainable option, while another considerable portion of urban people are “dependent” as a “conditional follower.” Together with this fact, urban subjects bring concepts not to consider future generations more frequently and widely during their deliberation than do rural people, leading urban generations to choose unsustainable option. Overall, our deliberative analysis finds that urban subjects may be losing concerns for future generations.
Revised version published in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics(accepted)