IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp9383.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Children's Intertemporal Choices

Author

Listed:
  • Sutter, Matthias

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

  • Angerer, Silvia

    (IHS Carinthia)

  • Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Lergetporer, Philipp

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

According to Chen's (2013) linguistic-savings hypothesis, languages which grammatically separate the future and the present (like English or Italian) induce less future-oriented behavior than languages in which speakers can refer to the future by using present tense (like German). We complement Chen's approach with experimentally elicited time preference data from a bilingual city in Northern Italy. We find that German-speaking primary school children are about 46% more likely than Italian-speaking children to delay gratification in an intertemporal choice experiment. The difference remains significant in several robustness checks and when controlling for a broad range of factors, including risk attitudes, IQ or family background.

Suggested Citation

  • Sutter, Matthias & Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp, 2015. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Children's Intertemporal Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 9383, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9383
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp9383.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bart H.H. Golsteyn & Hans Grönqvist & Lena Lindahl, 2014. "Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 739-761, November.
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    3. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2010. "Portfolio Choice And Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 133-146, January.
    4. Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2015. "Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: A study on altruism in primary school children," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 67-74.
    5. M. Keith Chen, 2013. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 690-731, April.
    6. repec:ran:wpaper:895 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Castillo, Marco & Ferraro, Paul J. & Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2011. "The today and tomorrow of kids: Time preferences and educational outcomes of children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1377-1385.
    8. Sutter, Matthias & Yilmaz, Levent & Oberauer, Manuela, 2015. "Delay of gratification and the role of defaults—An experiment with kindergarten children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 21-24.
    9. M. Keith Chen, 2011. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1820, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2012.
    10. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Helene Tenzer & Siri Terjesen & Anne-Wil Harzing, 2017. "Language in International Business: A Review and Agenda for Future Research," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 57(6), pages 815-854, December.
    3. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2020. "The Economics of Language," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 348-404, June.
    4. Dar, Shafkat Shafi & Sahu, Sohini, 2022. "The effect of language on financial inclusion," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    5. Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "Cooperation and discrimination within and across language borders: Evidence from children in a bilingual city," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 254-264.
    6. Brown, Martin & Henchoz, Caroline & Spycher, Thomas, 2018. "Culture and financial literacy: Evidence from a within-country language border," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 62-85.
    7. Chen, Shimin & Cronqvist, Henrik & Ni, Serene & Zhang, Frank, 2017. "Languages and corporate savings behavior," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 320-341.
    8. C. S. Agnes Cheng & Jaehyeon Kim & Mooweon Rhee & Jian Zhou, 2022. "Time Orientation in Languages and Tax Avoidance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 180(2), pages 625-650, October.
    9. Timo Heinrich & Jason Shachat, 2020. "The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 263-287, December.
    10. Kim, Jaehyeon & Kim, Yongtae & Zhou, Jian, 2017. "Languages and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 288-306.
    11. Ke Na & Wenjia Yan, 2022. "Languages and corporate tax avoidance," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 148-184, March.
    12. Dongmin Kong & Jialong Wang & Yanan Wang & Jian Zhang, 2022. "Language and innovation," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1-2), pages 297-326, January.
    13. Wei Huang & Jaehyeon Kim, 2020. "Linguistically Induced Time Perception and Asymmetric Cost Behavior," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 60(5), pages 755-785, October.
    14. Silvia Angerer & Philipp Lergetporer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Matthias Sutter, 2015. "How to measure time preferences in children: a comparison of two methods," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(2), pages 158-169, December.
    15. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Clas Weber, 2018. "Linguistic Structures And Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 916-939, July.
    16. Brown, Martin & Henchoz, Caroline & Spycher, Thomas, 2017. "Culture and Financial Literacy," Working Papers on Finance 1703, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    17. 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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sutter, Matthias & Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp, 2018. "Language group differences in time preferences: Evidence from primary school children in a bilingual city," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 21-34.
    2. Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias & Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2014. "The effects of language on children's intertemporal choices," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100350, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Silvia Angerer & Philipp Lergetporer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Matthias Sutter, 2015. "How to measure time preferences in children: a comparison of two methods," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(2), pages 158-169, December.
    4. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Bela, Anika & Heineck, Guido, 2018. "Preschoolers' self-regulation, skill differentials, and early educational outcomes," BERG Working Paper Series 140, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    5. Sutter, Matthias & Zoller, Claudia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2019. "Economic behavior of children and adolescents – A first survey of experimental economics results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 98-121.
    6. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 217-236.
    7. Brenøe, Anne Ardila & Epper, Thomas, 2022. "Parenting values and the intergenerational transmission of time preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    8. Oded Galor & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3064-3103, October.
    9. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Jorrat, Diego & Espín, Antonio M. & Sanchez, Angel, 2020. "Paid and hypothetical time preferences are the same: Lab, field and online evidence," MPRA Paper 103660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg, 2020. "Time preferences and political regimes: evidence from reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 349-387, January.
    11. Perez-Arce, Francisco, 2017. "The effect of education on time preferences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 52-64.
    12. Daniel Horn & Hubert Janos Kiss, 2018. "Which preferences associate with school performance?—Lessons from an exploratory study with university students," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(2), pages 1-32, February.
    13. Silvia Angerer & Jana Bolvashenkova & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Children’s patience and school-track choices several years later: Linking experimental and field data," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2021_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    14. Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "Cooperation and discrimination within and across language borders: Evidence from children in a bilingual city," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 254-264.
    15. Islam, Asad & Lee, Wang-Sheng & Nicholas, Aaron, 2021. "The Effects of Chess Instruction on Academic and Non-cognitive Outcomes: Field Experimental Evidence from a Developing Country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    16. Silvia Angerer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "The effects of language on patience: an experimental replication study of the linguistic-savings hypothesis in Austria," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 88-97, September.
    17. Dániel Horn & Hubert János Kiss, 2020. "Time preferences and their life outcome correlates: Evidence from a representative survey," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(7), pages 1-26, July.
    18. Daniel Horn & Hubert János Kiss, 2017. "Which preferences associate with school performance? Lessons from a university classroom experiment," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1708, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    19. Dawoon Jung & Tushar Bharati & Seungwoo Chin, 2021. "Does Education Affect Time Preference? Evidence from Indonesia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1451-1499.
    20. Faralla, Valeria & Novarese, Marco & Di Giovinazzo, Viviana, 2021. "Replication: Framing effects in intertemporal choice with children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intertemporal choice; language; experiment; children;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9383. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.