This paper identifies a new source of differences in religiosity: the presenceof future tense marking in language. We argue that the rewards and punishments that incentivise religious behaviour are less effective for speakers of languages that contain future tense marking. Consistent with this prediction, we show that speakers of future-tensed languages are less likely to be religious and to take up the short-term costs associated withreligiosity. What is likely to drive this behaviour, according to our results, is the relativelylower appeal of the religious rewards for these individuals. Our analysis is based on within country regressions comparing individuals with identical observable characteristics who speak a different language.
|Number of pages||31|
|Journal||Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization|
|Publication status||Submitted - 25 Mar 2020|