[Seminar on Behavioral and Experimental Economics]Unequal Past, United Future–Reaching a Climate Agreement given Past Responsibilities

Seminar on Behavioral and Experimental Economics (Session 7)
[Time] October 10, 2019 (Thursday) 12:00-13:30
[Location] Conference Room 729 of Minde Main Building
[Theme] Unequal Past, United Future–Reaching a Climate Agreement given Past Responsibilities
[President] Liu Ning, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
[Moderator] Sun Wenkai, Professor, School of Economics, Chinese Min University
[Reviewer] Wang Xianghong, Professor, School of Economics, Chinese Min University

[Abstract] Through a laboratory experiment, we measure the self-serving bias in collective-risk social dilemma. We explore beliefs over the “fair allocation” of contributions among asymmetric players, and measure self-serving bias using the difference in contributions in the veil of ignorance setting and in the multiplayer dictator game. We study how those are affected by alternative narratives of historical responsibilities. We find that subjects have broadly shared belief on the fair allocation of contributions, where poor and rich alike, contribute the same proportion of their endowment behind the veil of ignorance. However, their contributions differ in the multi-player dictator game. Overall, rich succumb more to the self-serving bias than the poor. The three framings of historical responsibility have different impact. Under the framing of inherited responsibility, self-serving bias of the rich is eliminated, while that of the poor is amplified leading to a more equal society in terms of wealth.

[ Introduction] Liu Ning, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and later conducted postdoctoral research at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. The main areas of research are individual and group decision-making, focusing on risk and uncertainty and the concept of equity. Recent research has focused on improving climate change and promoting sustainable development, combining decision-making theory and practice. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Climate Change, Journal of Risk and Nespresso, Theory and Decision.