The article is entitled “Are loans cheaper when tomorrow seems further?”
This paper studies how future tense marking affects the terms of bank loans. We predict that languages that grammatically mark the futureaffect speakers’ intertemporal preferences and thereby reduce the perception of the risks associated with loan issuance. We test thishypothesis on a sample of 977 bank loans from 17 European countries. We observe that the use of a language with future tense markingis associated with lower loan spreads and lower collateral use in loan contracts. The results corroborate Chen’s hypothesis that futuretense marking makes the future more distant than the present. They suggest that linguistic structure affects terms of loan contracts.