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Gendered Language

Pamela Jakiela and Owen Ozier

No 500, Working Papers from Center for Global Development

Abstract: Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. We construct a new data set, documenting the presence or absence of grammatical gender in more than 4,000 languages which together account for more than 99 percent of the world’s population. We ï¬ nd a robust negative cross-country relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women’s labor force participation and educational attainment. We replicate these associations in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in India, showing that educational attainment and female labor force participation are lower among those whose native languages use grammatical gender.

Keywords: grammatical gender; language; gender; linguistic determinism; labor force participation; educational attainment; gender gaps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 Z10 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 76 pages
Date: 2019-01-14, Revised 2020-04-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen and nep-lab
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Working Paper: Gendered Language (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Gendered Language (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Gendered language (2018) Downloads
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