Gender Matters in Language and Economic Behaviour: Can we Measure a Causal Cognition Effect of Speaking?

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


We study potential drivers of the link between gendered languages and gender differences in economic behaviour that economists have recently documented. Combining identity economics and linguistic theory, our formal model distinguishes a direct effect of speaking a gendered language from indirect effects through gender norms and highlights pitfalls in discriminating these effects empirically, particularly when studying behaviour of immigrants. Our empirical exercises illustrate the severity of the problem, as self-selection and intergenerational transmission of traits appear to bias estimates of the link between migrant behaviour and gendered language.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101850
JournalLabour Economics
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2020
Externally publishedYes