Voting on behalf of a future generation: A laboratory experiment

Yoshio Kamijo*, Yoichi Hizen, Tatsuyoshi Saijo, Teruyuki Tamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates a new voting rule wherein some people are given extra votes to serve as proxies for future generations. We predict that this voting scheme affects the voting behavior of those who do not receive an extra vote (i.e., single-ballot voters) because they are less likely to become a pivot, while proxy voters are expected to behave in support of the future generation. To test this prediction, we compare three scenarios wherein single-ballot voters would cast a vote: (a) one-voter-one-vote scenario wherein all voters cast only a single ballot; (b) a standard proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots, and the second vote is to cast for the benefit of a future generation; and (c) a non-proxy-voting scenario wherein other voters cast two ballots with no explanation for the second vote. The result shows that single-ballot voters are less inclined to vote for the future-oriented option in (c) than in (a). This indicates the potential drawback of the new voting scheme. However, there is no difference in the single-ballot voters' decision between (a) and (b), indicating that the explanation of the second ballot as the proxy is important for reducing the intergenerational inequality through this voting reform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4271
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Demeny voting
  • Future generation
  • Intergenerational equity
  • Proxy vote
  • Voting behavior
  • Voting rule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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