Guiltily Indebted? How a Word Can Affect Individual Borrowing (2019)

Using World Values Survey data, we show that individuals whose primary language usesthe same word for (financial) debt and (moral) guilt have a statistically significant and economically relevant lower probability of borrowing money. This relation holds even when we control for a large array of covariates, fixed effects, grammatical future tense reference, and Germanic language family.

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Bogatzki Tamara, Stadelmann David, Torgler Benno