Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures
63 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016 Last revised: 5 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 4, 2017
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.
Keywords: Comparative Development, Cultural Evolution, Language Structure, Future Tense, Politeness Distinctions, Grammatical Gender, Human Capital, Education
JEL Classification: I25, J24, O1, Z10, O10, O57, D01, D03, J16, Z10, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation