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Does perspective-taking promote intergenerational sustainability?

Mostafa Shahen, Koji Kotani and Tatsuyoshi Saijo ()

No SDES-2020-12, Working Papers from Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management

Abstract: The intergenerational sustainability dilemma (ISD) is a situation of whether or not a person sacrifices herself for future sustainability. To examine the individual behaviors, one-person ISD game (ISDG) is instituted with strategy method where a queue of individuals is organized as a generational sequence. In ISDG, each individual chooses unsustainable (or sustainable) option with her payoff of X (X - D) and an irreversible cost of D (zero cost) to future generations in 36 situations. Future ahead and back (FAB) mechanism is suggested as resolution for ISD by taking the perspective of future generation whereby each individual is first asked to take the next generation’s standpoint and request what she wants the current generation to choose, and, second, to make the actual decision from the original position. Results show that individuals choose unsustainable option as previous generations do so or X/D is low (i.e., sustainability is endangered). However, FAB prevents individuals from choosing unsustainable option in such endangered situations. Overall, the results suggest that some new institutions, such as FAB mechanisms, which induce people to take the perspective of future generations, may be necessary to avoid intergenerational unsustainability, especially when intergenerational sustainability is highly endangered.

Keywords: Intergenerational sustainability dilemma; future ahead and back mechanism; intergenerational sustainability index (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2020-09, Revised 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Published in SDE Series, September 2020, pages 1-45

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