No SDES-2018-2
Title Voting on behalf of a future generation: A laboratory experiment
Author Yoshio Kamijo, Yoichi Hizen, Tatsuyoshi Saijo and Teruyuki Tamura
Abstract Although future generations are affected by on-going economic, social, and environmental conditions, the current political process allows present-day voters to ignore future generations’ needs. This paper investigates a new voting rule wherein some people are given extra votes to serve as proxies for future generations (or individuals close to future generations). We predict that this voting scheme affects the voting behavior of those who do not receive an extra vote (i.e., single-ballot voters) because they are less likely to become a pivot, while proxy voters are expected to behave in support of the future generation. To test this prediction, we compare three scenarios wherein single-ballot voters would cast a vote: (a) one-voter-one-vote scenario wherein all voters cast only a single ballot; (b) a standard proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots, and the second vote is to cast for the benefit of a future generation; and (c) a non-proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots with no explanation for the second vote. Single-ballot voters are less inclined to vote for the future-oriented option in the non-proxy-voting scenario than in the one-voter-one-vote scenario. However, the results show that this reaction can be mitigated if the second vote is explained as being cast on behalf of the future generation.
Revised version published in Sustainability