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Keith Chen, Whorfian economist

Language Log has been asked more than once to comment on the unpublished working paper by Yale economist Keith Chen that is discussed in various online sources, most recently David Berreby's post at Big Think. Briefly, Chen's paper alleges that a certain simple grammatical property of languages correlates robustly with indicators of profligacy and [...]
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Whorfian Economics: The Interaction of Language and Economic Decisions

Business & Finance / Economics : Economist's View

Does the way in which the language we speak describes the future have an impact our intertemporal choices? Apparently so: Whorfian Economics, by Keith Chen: Mark and Geoffrey were kind enough not only to write thoughtful columns on ...

Keith Chen at TED

Academics / Linguistics : Language Log

"Saving for a rainy day: Keith Chen on language that forecasts weather — and behavior", TED Blog 2/19/2013: Back when my first paper on this topic circulated, many linguists were appropriately skeptical of the work. Their concerns a...

Should Greeks learn German to solve their debt crisis?

Business & Finance : Ezra Klein

A Yale economist has found that people whose languages draw strong differences between the present and the future — like the Greeks — tend to save less. Kevin Chen examined two groups of languages in a new working paper: languages t...

Whorfian Economics

Academics / Linguistics : Language Log

[This is a guest post by Keith Chen.] Mark and Geoffrey were kind enough not only to write thoughtful columns on a recent working paper of mine here and here, but to invite me to write a guest post explaining the work. In the spirit...

Cultural diffusion and the Whorfian hypothesis

Academics / Linguistics : Language Log

Geoff Pullum summarizes Keith Chen's view of "The E?ect of Language on Economic Behavior" as follows ("Keith Chen, Whorfian economist", 2/9/2012): Chen […] thinks that if your language has clear grammatical future tense marking […],...


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