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Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

Author

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  • Galor, Oded

    () (Brown University)

  • Özak, Ömer

    () (Southern Methodist University)

  • Sarid, Assaf

    () (University of Haifa)

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

  • Galor, Oded & Özak, Ömer & Sarid, Assaf, 2016. "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," IZA Discussion Papers 10379, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10379
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ani Harutyunyan & Omer Ozak, 2016. "Culture, Diffusion, and Economic Development," LICOS Discussion Papers 38216, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    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. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari, 2015. "Institutional Transplant and Cultural Proximity: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia," CESifo Working Paper Series 5652, CESifo.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Oasis Kodila‐Tedika & Sherif Khalifa, 2020. "Long‐term vision and economic development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(11), pages 3088-3102, November.
    12. Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Tarverdi, Yashar & Weber, Clas, 2020. "Paradise Postponed: Future Tense and Religiosity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 500, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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).
    17. 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.
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    19. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2019. "Folklore," CEPR Discussion Papers 13425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Giuliano, Paola, 2017. "Gender: An Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 12183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. 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.
    22. 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).
    23. Anke Becker, 2019. "On the Economic Origins of Restrictions on Women's Sexuality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7770, CESifo.
    24. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Clas Weber, 2018. "Linguistic Structures And Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 916-939, July.

    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
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • 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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