Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027189
 
 

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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

Gary Schwarz


University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China; Harvard University

March 21, 2012


Abstract:     
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

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Date posted: March 22, 2012 ; Last revised: February 25, 2014

Suggested Citation

Puaschunder, Julia M. and Schwarz, Gary, The Future is Now: How Joint Decision Making Curbs Hyperbolic Discounting but Blurs Social Responsibility in the Intergenerational Equity Public Policy Domain (March 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2027189

Contact Information

Julia M. Puaschunder (Contact Author)
Harvard University ( email )
24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Gary Schwarz
University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China ( email )
199 Taikang East Road
Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100
China
8657488180974 (Phone)
Harvard University
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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