Talking in the present, caring for the future: Language and environment
Astghik Mavisakalyan (),
Yashar Tarverdi () and
Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 1370-1387
This paper identifies a new source that explains environmental behaviour: the presence of future tense marking in language. We predict that languages that grammatically mark the future affect speakers’ intertemporal preferences and thereby reduce their willingness to address environmental problems. We first show that speakers of languages with future tense marking are less likely to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours and to support policies to prevent environmental damage. We then document that this effect holds across countries: future tense marking is an important determinant of climate change policies and global environmental cooperation. The results suggest that there may be deep and surprising obstacles for attempts to address climate change.
Keywords: Language; Linguistic relativity; Intertemporal preference; Climate change; Environmental policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 Q54 Q58 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: Talking in the Present, caring for the Future: Language and Environment (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1370-1387
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Comparative Economics is currently edited by D. Berkowitz and G. Roland
More articles in Journal of Comparative Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().