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Deliberative forms of democracy and intergenerational sustainability dilemma

Author

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  • Pankaj Koirala

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

  • Raja Rajendra Timilsina

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

  • Koji Kotani

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

Abstract

Intergenerational sustainability (IS) has emerged as the most serious social problem reflecting climate change and accumulation of public debt in modern democratic societies, undermining the potential interests and concerns of future generations. However, little is known about whether or not deliberative forms of democracy with majority voting helps support at maintaining IS by representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns. We institute intergenerational sustainability dilemma game (ISDG) with three forms of decision-making models with majority voting and examine how they maintain IS in laboratory experiments. In ISDG, a sequence of six generations is prepared where each generation consisting of three subjects is asked to choose either maintaining IS (sustainable option) or maximizing their own generation’s payoff by irreversibly costing the subsequent generations (unsustainable option) with anonymous voting systems: (1) majority voting (MV), (2) deliberative majority voting (DMV) and (3) majority voting with deliberative accountability (MVDA). In MV and DMV, generations vote for their choices without and with deliberation, respectively. In MVDA, generations are asked to be possibly accountable for their choices to the subsequent generations during deliberation, and then vote. Our analysis shows that decision-making models with only majority voting generally does not address IS, while DMV and MVDA treatments induce more and much more generations to choose a sustainable option than MV, respectively. Overall, the results demonstrate that deliberation and accountability along with majority voting shall be necessary in models of decision making at resolving IS problems and representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns.

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  • Pankaj Koirala & Raja Rajendra Timilsina & Koji Kotani, 2021. "Deliberative forms of democracy and intergenerational sustainability dilemma," Working Papers SDES-2021-6, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jun 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:kch:wpaper:sdes-2021-6
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    1. Raja Rajendra Timilsina & Yoshinori Nakagawa & Yoshio Komijo & Koji Kotani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2021. "Imaginary future generations: A deliberative approach for intergenerational sustainability dilemma," Working Papers SDES-2021-12, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Nov 2021.
    2. Tomohiro Tasaki & Hide-Fumi Yokoo & Ryo Tajima & Rintaro Yamaguchi, 2023. "Characteristics That Influence Individuals’ Intentions to Use and Bequeath Common Assets: Time-Perspective Scales and Demographic Attributes," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(20), pages 1-15, October.
    3. Timilsina, Raja R. & Kotani, Koji & Nakagawa, Yoshinori & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi, 2022. "Intragenerational deliberation and intergenerational sustainability dilemma," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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    Keywords

    democracy; decision-making; majority voting; deliberation; intergenerational accountability;
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