Negotiating with the Future: Incorporating Imaginary Future Generations

Kamijo, Yoshio (1); Mifune, Nobuhiro (1); Komiya, Asuka (2); Nakagawa, Yoshinori (1); Saijo, Tatsuyoshi (1) (2016). 'Negotiating with the Future: Incorporating Imaginary Future Generations' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract People born in the future are not today. This obvious fact implies that a decision among present people is biased to the present-oriented direction and this is one of fundamental problems concerning sustainability. In this study, we propose a new framework for reconciling the conflict between the present and the future such that some of the present generation put a cap of future and become an imaginary future generation that are expected to negotiate with the other present people for the sake of the future generation. We examine by laboratory experiment how the presence of the imaginary future generation enhances future benefit by using an intergenerational sustainability dilemma game (ISDG) that describes a tension between one generation and the successive ones. We find that the device of the imaginary future works to enhance the choice of a sustainable option, and has two significant effects. One is the direct effect that participants assigned with the role of the imaginary future generation become a supporter for a sustainable option, and the other is the indirect effect that participants facing the imaginary future generation support a sustainable option more often than participants in the control treatment.  

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