Summary of Could Your Language Affect Your Ability to Save Money?

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Could Your Language Affect Your Ability to Save Money? summary
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The language you speak may affect the amount of money you save. Economics professor Keith Chen conducted intensive studies showing that savings rates among speakers of “futured languages,” such as English, are lower than speakers of “futureless languages,” such as German, who are 30% more likely to set aside a nest egg. getAbstract recommends Chen’s original take on savings behavior to native speakers of any tongue.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How savings rates differ between speakers of “futureless languages” and speakers of “futured languages” and
  • How this discrepancy may explain the difference in savings rates across similarly developed countries.

About the Speaker

Keith Chen is is an associate professor of economics at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.



Economists have long noticed the discrepancy in savings rates among nations with similar economic systems. For example, glaring differences exist in the savings behavior among member states of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the world’s wealthiest developed nations. Between 1985 and 2010, Luxembourg, at one end of the spectrum, enjoyed average savings rates of about 42% of its annual GDP. Greece, at the other end of the spectrum, saved just over 10% of its GDP per year, on average.

Behavioral economists have uncovered a surprising root of this anomaly:

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