Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

63 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016 Last revised: 5 Feb 2017

See all articles by Oded Galor

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ömer Özak

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics; IZA

Assaf Sarid

University of Haifa

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 4, 2017

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 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

Galor, Oded and Özak, Ömer and Sarid, Assaf, Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures (February 4, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2820889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2820889

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Ömer Özak (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States
+1-214-768-2755 (Phone)
+1-214-768-1821 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://omerozak.com

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Assaf Sarid

University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

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