The Future is Now: How Joint Decision Making Curbs Hyperbolic Discounting but Blurs Social Responsibility in the Intergenerational Equity Public Policy Domain
Julia M. Puaschunder
Harvard University; The Situationist Project on Law and Mind Sciences; The New School, Department of Economics
University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China; Harvard University
March 21, 2012
When individuals judge alternative choices, presenting alternatives concurrently improves decision making outcomes. The joint decision making advantage has been proven in the Western world, yet generalizations for other cultures are missing. This paper explores the applicability of joint decision making for global public policy decisions in the intergenerational equity domain. Presenting the viewpoints of two generations with outcomes now or later concurrently worked towards intergenerationally equitable choices when surveying 223 Chinese individuals (Study 1) and 374 online recruited respondents (Study 2). Joint decision making is a powerful, previously untested means to overcome hyperbolic discounting biases in decisions on global common goods dilemmas. We also find policy bundling decreases social responsibility. The joint alternative presentation thus leads to future-orientation versus social responsibility trade-off predicaments in intergenerational decisions. Policy makers are advised to consider a multi-faceted decision schema and age-differentiated consortia may help implement intergenerational equity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Access to Water, Behavioral Ethics, Policy Bundling, China, Climate Change, Combined Policy, Environmentalism, Future Generations, Global Governance, Hyperbolic Discounting, Intercultural Validation Joint Decisions, Intergenerational Equity, Intertemporal Choice, Ozone Layer, Want/Should
Date posted: March 22, 2012 ; Last revised: February 25, 2014
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