The economic value of reciprocal bilingualism
AbstractSome bilingual societies exhibit a distribution of language skills that can- not be explained by economic theories that portray languages as pure commu- nication devices. Such distribution of skills are typically the result of public policies that promote bilingualism among members of both speech commu- nities (reciprocal bilingualism). In this paper I argue that these policies are likely to increase social welfare by diminishing economic and social segmenta- tion between the two communities. However, these gains tend to be unequally distributed over the two communities. As a result, in a large range of circum- stances these policies might not draw su¢ cient support. The model is built upon the communicative value of languages, but also emphasizes the role of linguistic preferences in the behavior of bilingual individuals..
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 933.13.
Date of creation: 13 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
bilingualism; segmentation; linguistic preferences; network externalities;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
- Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
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