Owen Ozier, World Bank, DECRG
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 3:00pm
Title: Gendered Language Abstract: Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign many - sometimes all - nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. At the cross-country level, we document a robust negative relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women's labor force participation. In countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where indigenous languages vary in terms of their gender structure, as well as within India, we show that educational attainment and female labor force participation are lower among those whose native languages are gender languages. Our cross-country data also permit a novel permutation test, demonstrating that the patterns we find are robust to statistical correction for the clustered nature of variation in linguistic structures within hierarchical language families.