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Motivational Factors in Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma: A Post-Interview Analysis

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  • Mostafa E. Shahen

    () (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, 2-22 Eikokuji-cho, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-8515, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, A401 2-7-8 Otesuji, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-0842, Japan
    Faculty of Commerce, Zagazig University, Shaibet an Nakareyah, Zagazig 44519, Ash Sharqia Governorate, Egypt)

  • Wada Masaya

    () (Ginken LTD, Tokyo 135-0063, Japan)

  • Koji Kotani

    () (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, 2-22 Eikokuji-cho, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-8515, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, A401 2-7-8 Otesuji, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-0842, Japan
    Urban Institute, Kyusyu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
    College of Business, Rikkyo University, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan)

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    () (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, 2-22 Eikokuji-cho, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-8515, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, A401 2-7-8 Otesuji, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-0842, Japan
    Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan)

Abstract

An intergenerational sustainability dilemma (ISD) is a situation of whether or not a person sacrifices herself for future sustainability. However, little is known about what people consider while making a decision under ISD. This paper analyzes motivational factors for people to decide under ISD, hypothesizing that the factors can be different with or without perspective-taking of future generations. One-person basic ISD game (ISDG) along with post-interviews are instituted where a lineup of individuals is organized as a generational sequence. Each individual chooses an unsustainable (or sustainable) option with (without) irreversibly costing future generations in 36 situations. A future ahead and back (FAB) mechanism is applied as a treatment for perspective-taking of future generations where each individual is asked to take the next generation’s position and to make a request about the choice that he/she wants the current generation to choose, and next, he/she makes the actual decision from the original position. By analyzing the post-interview contents with text-mining techniques, the paper finds that individuals mostly consider how previous generations had behaved in basic ISDG as the main motivational factor. However, individuals in FAB treatment are induced to put more weight on the possible consequences of their decisions for future generations as motivational factors. The findings suggest that perspective-taking of future generations through FAB mechanism enables people to change not only their behaviors but also motivational factors, enhancing ISD.

Suggested Citation

  • Mostafa E. Shahen & Wada Masaya & Koji Kotani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2020. "Motivational Factors in Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma: A Post-Interview Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(17), pages 1-16, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:17:p:7078-:d:406254
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    content analysis; future ahead and back mechanism; future design; intergenerational sustainability dilemma; text-mining;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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