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Title:Does it matter how people speak? PDF Logo
Authors:Chong, Alberto
Issue Date:2006
Series/Report no.:Working paper // Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 586
Abstract:Language serves two key functions. It enables communication between agents, which allows for the establishment and operation of formal and informal institutions. It also serves a less obvious function, a reassuring quality more closely related to issues linked with trust, social capital, and cultural identification. While research on the role of language as a learning process is widespread, there is no evidence on the role of language as a signal of cultural affinity. I pursue this latter avenue of research and show that subtle language affinity is positively linked with change in earnings when using English-speaking data for cities in the Golden Horseshoe area in Southern Ontario during the period 1991 to 2001. The results are robust to changes in specification, a broad number of empirical tests, and a diverse set of outcome variables.
Subjects:Linguistics
Culture
English
Trust
Governance
Institutions
Canada
JEL:O40
Z13
O51
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Research Department Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank

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