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Gendered Language

Pamela Jakiela and Owen Ozier

No 2021-13, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

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% of the world’s population. We find a robust negative relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women’s labor force participation and educational attainment both across and within countries. We also demonstrate that grammatical gender is associated with both weaker legal support for women’s equality and reduced female bargaining power within the household.

Keywords: grammatical gender; language; gender; linguistic determinism; labor force participation; gender gaps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 Z10 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 105
Date: 2021-07-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-isf and nep-lab
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https://doi.org/10.36934/wecon:2021-13 Full text (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Gendered Language (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Gendered Language (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Gendered language (2018) Downloads
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