Language and Decision Making: Board Members and the Investment in the Future
44 Pages Posted: 6 May 2021
Date Written: May 4, 2021
Recent research has shown that the grammatical representation of the future in languages influences how future-oriented an individual behaves in her private life. In this paper, I examine whether this effect of language characteristics on a person’s behaviour is also evident in the business world. I test the hypothesis that companies with board members whose native language grammatically separates the present from the future are less future-oriented. I find significant effects of the inflectional marking of the future in one language on the growth rate of a company’s intangible assets, which I use as a benchmark for its future orientation.
Keywords: Language Structure, Future Tense, Research and Development Activities
JEL Classification: O10, O30, Z13
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