Saving for a rainy day: Keith Chen on language that forecasts weather — and behavior

Anekdoter fra Øst:

Hvor simpelt det var i Estland, hvor der ikke var nogen futurum og hvor spørgsmålet om han/hun/den/det ingen betydning havde.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Keith-Chen By Keith Chen

How are China, Estonia and Germany different from India, Greece and the UK? To an economist, one answer is obvious: savings rates. Germans save 10 percentage points more than the British do (as a fraction of GDP), while Estonians and Chinese save a whopping 20 percentage points more than Greeks and Indians. Economists think a lot about what drives people to save, but many of these international differences remain unexplained. In a recent paper of mine, I find that these countries differ not only in how much their residents save for the future, but also how their native speakers talk about the future.

[ted_talkteaser id=1670]

In late 2011, an idea struck me while reading several papers in psychology that link a person’s language with differences in how they think about space, color, and movement. As a behavioral economist, I am interested in understanding how people make decisions…

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