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Social, Behavioral & Experimental Economics (SBEE): Linguistics and preferences: Does language effect exponential discounting, present-bias, or both?

Holger Herz, Fribourg

Economics Economics

According to the linguistic-savings hypothesis (Chen, 2013), languages that grammatically associate the future and the present foster future-oriented behavior in terms of savings and other economic outcomes. Our study investigates this hypothesis between French and German speaking pupils in a bilingual region of Switzerland, explicitly differentiating between the impact of language on exponential discounting and present bias. We find that French speakers are significantly more impatient than German speakers in the short run. In the long run, however, differences are less pronounced. Our evidence therefore suggests that language affects the degree of hyperbolic discounting and leads to less future oriented behavior mostly through increasing present-biasedness.
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When and Where

Map Ross School of Business - R0230

April 2018

3:30pm - 5:00pm

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