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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020395

Time Preferences between Individuals and Groups in the Transition from Hunter-Gatherer to Industrial Societies

1
School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, Kami 782-0003, Japan
2
Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Medan Merdeka Timur No. 16, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
3
Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, Kami 782-0003, Japan
4
Urban Institute, Kyusyu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
5
College of Business, Rikkyo University, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
PDF [1086 KB, uploaded 14 January 2019]   |   Review Reports

Abstract

Three societies, namely the hunter-gatherer, the agrarian and the industrial, represent the course of human history of cultural and economic development. In this course, each society exhibits distinct cultures and daily life practices that shape human behaviors and preferences, characterizing temporal actions and consequences at the individual and group levels. We examine individual and group time preferences and their relation across the three societies. To this end, we conduct a field experiment to elicit individual and group discount factors in three societies of Indonesia—(i) the fisheries, (ii) the farming and (iii) the urban societies—as proxies of the hunter-gatherer, agrarian and industrial societies, respectively. We find that both individual and group discount factors are the lowest (highest) in the fisheries (agrarian) society, while those in the urban society are in the middle. We also observe that the determinants of group discount factors differ across societies: members of the lowest and middle discount factors in a group play an important role in determining the group discount factor in the fisheries society, while only the members with the middle discount factor are key in agrarian and urban societies. Overall, our results suggest that individual and group discount factors non-monotonically change as societies transition from fisheries to agrarian and from agrarian to urban and that comparatively shortsighted people (the lowest and middle) are more influential than farsighted people in determining group time preferences.
Keywords: discount factors; individuals and groups; fisheries society; farming society; urban society discount factors; individuals and groups; fisheries society; farming society; urban society
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hernuryadin, Y.; Kotani, K.; Kamijo, Y. Time Preferences between Individuals and Groups in the Transition from Hunter-Gatherer to Industrial Societies. Sustainability 2019, 11, 395.

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