The economics of language: accents, trust and social exchange in labour markets

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Burns, Justine en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Yagman, Ece en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-28T12:25:41Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-28T12:25:41Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Yagman, E. 2014. The economics of language: accents, trust and social exchange in labour markets. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13011
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the role that English language, and accent in particular, might play in strategic interactions characterized by asymmetric information. The experiment in this study - named the Trust Game - is designed to reveal the degree of trust and trustworthiness individuals display towards each other when the only information they receive is the race and linguistic background of their partners. The results indicate that a mother tongue English accent matters in a positive way, both for trust and trustworthiness, and especially for Black participants. The second part of the thesis brings together third party evaluations to unpack the reasons why speaking English might be such a powerful asset to have. Here, the results provide evidence in support of the positive correlation between assessed trustworthiness and assessed positive attributes, especially for Black subjects who speak English with a mother tongue English accent. Overall, the empirical evidence suggests that speaking with a mother tongue English accent matters in strategic interactions and it operates through a strong link with positive connotations. Considering the historical and political background of South Africa and the powerful role that language played in colonialism and apartheid, its role in labour market outcomes is an important policy consideration. This is especially true since the post-1994 constitutional settlement envisages a multilingual setting for the citizens of South Africa. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Economics en_ZA
dc.title The economics of language: accents, trust and social exchange in labour markets en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Commerce en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Economics en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MCom en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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