The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets
Languages differ widely in the ways they encode time. I test the hypothesis that languages that grammatically associate the future and the present, foster future-oriented behavior. This prediction arises naturally when well-documented effects of language structure are merged with models of intertemporal choice. Empirically, I find that speakers of such languages: save more, retire with more wealth, smoke less, practice safer sex, and are less obese. This holds both across countries and within countries when comparing demographically similar native households. The evidence does not support the most obvious forms of common causation. I discuss implications for theories of intertemporal choice.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2011|
|Date of revision:||Dec 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1993.
"Do 401(k) Contributions Crowd Out Other Persoanl Saving?,"
NBER Working Papers
4391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, James M. & Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1995. "Do 401(k) contributions crowd out other personal saving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-32, September.
- Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995.
"Stabilization Policy, Learning by Doing, and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1997. "Stabilization Policy, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 152-66, April.
- Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000.
"The German Savings Puzzle,"
594, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
- Börsch-Supan, Axel H. & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2001. "The German Savings Puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 20236, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "The German Savings Puzzle," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Robert J. Barro, 2013.
"Inflation and Economic Growth,"
Annals of Economics and Finance,
Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
- Abigail Barr, 1995.
"The missing factor: entrepreneurial networks, enterprises and economic growth in Ghana,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
1995-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Abigail Barr, 1995. "The missing factor: entrepreneurial networks, enterprises and economic growth in Ghana," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1995-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- James M. Poterba, 1994. "Introduction to "International Comparisons of Household Saving"," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
- Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997.
"Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth,"
IMF Staff Papers,
Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1820. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.