Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

73 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016

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

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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.

Keywords: comparative development, cultural evolution, language structure, future tense, politeness distinctions, grammatical gender, human capital, education

JEL Classification: I25, J24, O1, O10, O11, O12, O40, O43, O44, Z10

Suggested Citation

Galor, Oded and Özak, Ömer and Sarid, Assaf, Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10379. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879786

Oded Galor (Contact Author)

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

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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