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Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

Author

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  • Oded Galor
  • Ömer Özak
  • Assaf Sarid

Abstract

This research explores the economic causes and consequences of language structures. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that variations in pre-industrial geographical characteristics that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, larger gender gap in agricultural productivity, and more hierarchical society, are at the root of existing cross-language variations in the presence of the future tense, grammatical gender, and politeness distinctions. Moreover, the research suggests that while language structures have largely reflected the coding of past human experience and in particular the range of ancestral cultural traits in society, they independently affected human behavior and economic outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Oded Galor & Ömer Özak & Assaf Sarid, 2016. "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," CESifo Working Paper Series 6149, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6149
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," Departmental Working Papers 1610, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    2. Ani Harutyunyan & Omer Ozak, 2016. "Culture, diffusion, and economic development," Working Papers LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 551450, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
    3. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & David B. Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2017. "Global Evidence on Economic Preferences," NBER Working Papers 23943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Giuliano, Paola, 2017. "Gender: An Historical Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 10931, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari, 2015. "Institutional Transplant and Cultural Proximity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia," CESifo Working Paper Series 5652, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi & Clas Weber, 2017. "Talking in the Present, caring for the Future: Language and Environment," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1703, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    7. Benjamin Enke, 2017. "Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture," NBER Working Papers 23499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative development; cultural evolution; language structure; future tense; politeness distinctions; grammatical gender; human capital; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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