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Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

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  • Sarid, Assaf
  • Galor, Oded
  • Ozak, Omer

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 returns to agricultural investment, gender gaps in agricultural productivity, and the emergence of hierarchical societies, are at the root of existing cross-language variations in the structure of the future tense and the presence of grammatical gender and politeness distinctions. Moreover, the research suggests that while language structures have largely reflected past human experience and ancestral cultural traits, they have independently affected human behavior and economic outcomes.

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  • Sarid, Assaf & Galor, Oded & Ozak, Omer, 2017. "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," CEPR Discussion Papers 11917, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11917
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    Cited by:

    1. Ani Harutyunyan & Omer Ozak, 2016. "Culture, diffusion, and economic development," Working Papers of LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 551450, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
    2. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2018. "Global Evidence on Economic Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 1645-1692.
    3. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2020. "The origins of the division of labor in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 297-340, September.
    4. Nicola Fuchs‐Schündeln & Paolo Masella & Hannah Paule‐Paludkiewicz, 2020. "Cultural Determinants of Household Saving Behavior," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(5), pages 1035-1070, August.
    5. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2020. "The Economics of Language," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 348-404, June.
    6. Dincecco, Mark & Fenske, James & Menon, Anil, 2020. "The Columbian Exchange and conflict in Asia," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1319, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    7. Lecce, Giampaolo & Ogliari, Laura, 2019. "Institutional Transplant and Cultural Proximity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1060-1093, December.
    8. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," Departmental Working Papers 1803, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    9. Rottner, Florian, 2021. "Language and decision making: Board members and the investment in the future," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 421, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    10. Oded Galor & Ömer Özak & Assaf Sarid, 2020. "Linguistic Traits and Human Capital Formation," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 309-313, May.
    11. Benjamin Enke, 2019. "Kinship, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Moral Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 953-1019.
    12. Drori, Israel & Manos, Ronny & Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania & Shenkar, Oded & Shoham, Amir, 2018. "Language and market inclusivity for women entrepreneurship: the case of microfinance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 395-415.
    13. Oasis Kodila‐Tedika & Sherif Khalifa, 2020. "Long‐term vision and economic development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(11), pages 3088-3102, November.
    14. Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Tarverdi, Yashar & Weber, Clas, 2020. "Paradise Postponed: Future Tense and Religiosity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 500, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    15. Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Tarverdi, Yashar & Weber, Clas, 2018. "Talking in the present, caring for the future: Language and environment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1370-1387.
    16. 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.
    17. Caminal, Ramon & Cappellari, Lorenzo & Di Paolo, Antonio, 2018. "Linguistic Skills and the Intergenerational Transmission of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 11793, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen, 2019. "Those Who Stayed: Individualism, Self-Selection and Cultural Change during the Age of Mass Migration," Discussion Papers 19-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    19. Chen, Victor Zitian & Cantwell, John, 2019. "Resistant roots of institutional diversity across societies: An evolutionary framework," SocArXiv 3gaqj, Center for Open Science.
    20. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2019. "Folklore," CEPR Discussion Papers 13425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Giuliano, Paola, 2017. "Gender: An Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 12183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Tawanda Chingozha & Dieter von Fintel, 2019. "Property rights, market access and crop cultivation in Southern Rhodesia: evidence from historical satellite data," Working Papers 03/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    23. Beblo, Miriam & Görges, Luise & Markowsky, Eva, 2020. "Gender Matters in Language and Economic Behaviour: Can we Measure a Causal Cognition Effect of Speaking?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    24. Anke Becker, 2019. "On the Economic Origins of Restrictions on Women's Sexuality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7770, CESifo.
    25. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Clas Weber, 2018. "Linguistic Structures And Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 916-939, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative development; Cultural Evolution; education; Future Tense; Grammatical Gender; Human Capital; Language Structure; Politeness Distinctions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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