Inter-Generational Thoughtfulness in a Dynamic Public Good Experiment
In a laboratory experiment groups of four played a 15-period Public Good game. Each period a player could either invest in a green sector or in a more profitable but polluting brown sector. The pollutant accumulated and decreased the players’ income in all following periods. We conducted several treatments including the existence of a future generation. In the latter case subjects were told that their final stock would be forwarded to another group in a later session. The framework allowed investigating learning, the effects of communication and the possibly different reactions to self-produced and inherited pollution. The most interesting result is that the existence of heirs restricts pollution. We find that the result may be driven partly by thoughtfulness and partly by the induced motivation for longer-term planning.
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