Author Topic: The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior  (Read 986 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior
« on: February 09, 2012, 08:09:19 am »
An interesting paper correlating how language frames the future with how people behave. Shades of General Semantics, and
an interesting nod toward 'language influences perception, perception influences behavior'

http://faculty.som.yale.edu/keithchen/papers/LanguageWorkingPaper.pdf
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Demolition_Squid

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Re: The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 09:17:30 am »
This sounds fascinating. Can't read it now (at work) but will read it after and give my thoughts.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 10:41:33 am »
From the abstract:

Quote
Languages differ widely in the ways they partition time. In this paper I test the hypothesis that
languages which grammatically distinguish between present and future events (what linguists call strong-
FTR languages) lead their speakers to take fewer future-oriented actions. First, I show how this prediction
arises naturally when well-documented effects of language on cognition are merged with models of decision
making over time. Then, I show that consistent with this hypothesis, speakers of strong-FTR languages
save less, hold less retirement wealth, smoke more, are more likely to be obese, and suffer worse longrun
health. This is true in every major region of the world and holds even when comparing only
demographically similar individuals born and living in the same country. While not conclusive, the
evidence does not seem to support the most obvious forms of common causation. Implications of these
findings for theories of intertemporal choice are discussed.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson