Language nuances, trust and economic growth

Alberto Chong, Jorge Guillen, Vanessa Rios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Language serves two key functions. It enables communication between agents, which allows the set-up and functioning of formal and informal institutions. It also serves a less obvious function, as it provides a reassuring quality more closely related with 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. We 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, and a broad number of empirical tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Canada
  • Culture
  • English
  • Governance
  • Institutions
  • Linguistics
  • Trust


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