Gender inequality and linguistic determinism

Our preferred specification suggests that grammatical gender is associated with a 12 percentage point reduction in women’s labor force participation and an almost 15 percentage point increase in the gender gap in labor force participation. These associations are robust to the inclusion of a wide range of geo-graphic controls (including suitability for the plough) that […]

Time to update our democratic models

Throughout childhood and until late adolescence, our brains are building their internal models of what is out there and how it all works –physical, social, emotional and so on. After that, our core beliefs harden and we find change, according to Professor of Psychiatry Bruce Wexler, ‘difficult and painful’. The power of our many cognitive […]

How should we frame foreign aid?

I’ve always been inclined to frame foreign aid in purely self interest terms – helping others makes us all safer, preventing disease etc. But if we want our governments to increase foreign aid is that the best argument? Terence Wood and Chris Hoy from the Australian National University have done an interesting study on precisely […]

Are fines and barriers really worth it?

In Berlin, a city whose public transit uses an honesty system (backed up with unannounced in-vehicle inspections) and fairly low fines for fare dodging, it’s estimated that 3 to 5 percent of journeys aren’t paid for.  Meanwhile: London, by contrast, has a closed subway system with ubiquitous barriers and high fines for being caught without a […]

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