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Does perspective-taking promote intergenerational sustainability?

Author

Listed:
  • Mostafa Shahen

    (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)

  • Koji Kotani

    () (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    (Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mostafa Shahen & Koji Kotani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2020. "Does perspective-taking promote intergenerational sustainability?," Working Papers SDES-2020-12, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Sep 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:kch:wpaper:sdes-2020-12
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    File URL: http://www.souken.kochi-tech.ac.jp/seido/wp/SDES-2020-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Intergenerational sustainability dilemma; future ahead and back mechanism; intergenerational sustainability index;

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