IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/500.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Paradise Postponed: Future Tense and Religiosity

Author

Listed:
  • Mavisakalyan, Astghik
  • Tarverdi, Yashar
  • Weber, Clas

Abstract

This paper identifies a new source of differences in religiosity: the presence of future tense marking in language. We argue that the rewards and punishments that incentivise religious behaviour are less effective for speakers of languages that contain future tense marking. Consistent with this prediction, we show that speakers of future-tensed languages are less likely to be religious and to take up the short-term costs associated with religiosity. What is likely to drive this behaviour, according to our results, is the relatively lower appeal of the religious rewards for these individuals. Our analysis is based on within country regressions comparing individuals with identical observable characteristics who speak a different language.

Suggested Citation

  • Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Tarverdi, Yashar & Weber, Clas, 2020. "Paradise Postponed: Future Tense and Religiosity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 500, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:500
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/215396/1/GLO-DP-0500.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Assaf Sarid & Oded Galor, "undated". "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," Working Papers WP2017/4, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
    2. Hicks, Daniel L. & Hicks, Joan Hamory & Maldonado, Beatriz, 2016. "Women as policy makers and donors: Female legislators and foreign aid," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 46-60.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 539-544, May.
    4. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2020. "The Economics of Language," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 348-404, June.
    5. Maselko, Joanna & Kubzansky, Laura D., 2006. "Gender differences in religious practices, spiritual experiences and health: Results from the US General Social Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 2848-2860, June.
    6. Christine Binzel & Jean†Paul Carvalho, 2017. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: The Islamic Revival in Egypt," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(607), pages 2553-2580, December.
    7. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2017. "Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 193-214.
    8. Wang, Mei & Rieger, Marc Oliver & Hens, Thorsten, 2016. "How time preferences differ: Evidence from 53 countries," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 115-135.
    9. Estefania Santacreu-Vasut & Oded Shenkar & Amir Shoham, 2014. "Linguistic gender marking and its international business ramifications," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 45(9), pages 1170-1178, December.
    10. Licht, Amir N. & Goldschmidt, Chanan & Schwartz, Shalom H., 2007. "Culture rules: The foundations of the rule of law and other norms of governance," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 659-688, December.
    11. Davis, Lewis S. & Abdurazokzoda, Farangis, 2016. "Language, culture and institutions: Evidence from a new linguistic dataset," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 541-561.
    12. Godlewski, Christophe & Weill, Laurent, 2021. "Are loans cheaper when tomorrow seems further?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1058-1065.
    13. Resul Cesur & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," NBER Working Papers 19769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Victor Gay & Daniel L. Hicks & Estefania Santacreu-Vasut & Amir Shoham, 2018. "Decomposing culture: an analysis of gender, language, and labor supply in the household," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 879-909, December.
    16. Hungerman, Daniel M., 2014. "The effect of education on religion: Evidence from compulsory schooling laws," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 52-63.
    17. Davis, Lewis & Reynolds, Megan, 2018. "Gendered language and the educational gender gap," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 46-48.
    18. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    19. Daniel L. Chen, 2010. "Club Goods and Group Identity: Evidence from Islamic Resurgence during the Indonesian Financial Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 300-354, April.
    20. Fletcher, Jason & Kumar, Sanjeev, 2014. "Religion and risky health behaviors among U.S. adolescents and adults," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 123-140.
    21. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    22. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
    23. Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2006. "Religion and Preferences for Social Insurance," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 255-286, July.
    24. 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.
    25. Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2015. "Gender in Language and Gender in Employment," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 403-424, December.
    26. Thomas Buser, 2015. "The Effect of Income on Religiousness," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 178-195, July.
    27. Dehejia, Rajeev & DeLeire, Thomas & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2007. "Insuring consumption and happiness through religious organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 259-279, February.
    28. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    29. 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.
    30. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2005. "Deliver us from evil: religion as insurance," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590570, HAL.
    31. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    32. 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.
    33. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
    34. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, 2019. "Acts of God? Religiosity and Natural Disasters Across Subnational World Districts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(622), pages 2295-2321.
    35. Robert Hoffmann, 2013. "The Experimental Economics Of Religion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 813-845, December.
    36. Chi, Jianxin Daniel & Su, Xunhua & Tang, Yun & Xu, Bin, 2020. "Is language an economic institution? Evidence from R&D investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    37. van der Velde, Lucas & Tyrowicz, Joanna & Siwinska, Joanna, 2015. "Language and (the estimates of) the gender wage gap," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 165-170.
    38. Davis, Lewis S. & Williamson, Claudia R., 2016. "Culture and the regulation of entry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 1055-1083.
    39. Christine Binzel & Jean‐Paul Carvalho, 2017. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: The Islamic Revival in Egypt," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(607), pages 2553-2580.
    40. Hicks, Daniel L. & Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania & Shoham, Amir, 2015. "Does mother tongue make for women's work? Linguistics, household labor, and gender identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 19-44.
    41. Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2004. "Religion as a Determinant of Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(4), pages 707-726, December.
    42. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    43. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. 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.
    45. Madhu S. Mohanty, 2016. "Effect of religious attendance on years of schooling in the USA," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 411-426, August.
    46. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Clas Weber, 2018. "Linguistic Structures And Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 916-939, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi & Clas Weber, 2022. "Heaven can wait: future tense and religiosity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 833-860, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Bentzen, Jeanet & Sperling, Lena, 2020. "God Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 14380, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Clas Weber, 2018. "Linguistic Structures And Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 916-939, July.
    5. Liang, Yinhe & Dong, Zhiyong, 2019. "Has education led to secularization? Based on the study of compulsory education law in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 324-336.
    6. Matthias Basedau & Simone Gobien & Sebastian Prediger, 2018. "The Multidimensional Effects Of Religion On Socioeconomic Development: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1106-1133, September.
    7. Francis Osei‐Tutu & Laurent Weill, 2021. "Sex, language and financial inclusion," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(3), pages 369-403, July.
    8. Arold, W. Benjamin & Woessmann, Ludger & Zierow, Larissa, 2022. "Can Schools Change Religious Attitudes? Evidence from German State Reforms of Compulsory Religious Education," IZA Discussion Papers 14989, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Shai, Ori, 2022. "Does armed conflict increase individuals’ religiosity as a means for coping with the adverse psychological effects of wars?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 296(C).
    10. Philipp Ager & Antonio Ciccone, 2013. "Rainfall Risk and Religious Membership in the Late Nineteenth-Century US," Working Papers 2013-17, FEDEA.
    11. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    12. Samuel Bazzi & Gabriel Koehler-Derrick & Benjamin Marx, 2020. "The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia [“The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 845-911.
    13. Philipp Ager & Antonio Ciccone, 2018. "Agricultural Risk and the Spread of Religious Communities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 1021-1068.
    14. Samuel Bazzi & Gabriel Koehler-Derrick & Benjamin Marx, 2020. "The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia [“The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 845-911.
    15. Hanson, Gordon H. & Xiang, Chong, 2013. "Exporting Christianity: Governance and doctrine in the globalization of US denominations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 301-320.
    16. Oasis Kodila‐Tedika & Sherif Khalifa, 2020. "Long‐term vision and economic development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(11), pages 3088-3102, November.
    17. Basedau, Matthias & Gobien, Simone & Prediger, Sebastian, 2017. "The Ambivalent Role of Religion for Sustainable Development: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," GIGA Working Papers 297, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    18. Raphael Corbi & Fabio Miessi Sanches, 2022. "Church Competition, Religious Subsidies and the Rise of Evangelicalism: a Dynamic Structural Analysis," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2022_09, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    19. Bentzen, Jeanet Sinding, 2021. "In crisis, we pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 541-583.
    20. van Hoorn, André & Maseland, Robbert, 2013. "Does a Protestant work ethic exist? Evidence from the well-being effect of unemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-12.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language; Culture; Religiosity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    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:zbw:glodps:500. 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/glabode.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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.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.