Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures

66 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017

See all articles by Assaf Sarid

Assaf Sarid

University of Haifa

Oded Galor

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

Omer Ozak

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 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, education, Future Tense, Grammatical Gender, Human Capital, Language Structure, Politeness Distinctions

JEL Classification: D01, D03, J16, Z10, Z13

Suggested Citation

Sarid, Assaf and Galor, Oded and Ozak, Omer, Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures (March 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11917. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937768

Assaf Sarid (Contact Author)

University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

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/

Omer Ozak

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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